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The Story or 

American Public Life 

from 1870 to 1920 



Formerly United States Senator 
from South Dakota 


112 Fourth Avenue, New York City 



The American people should know the truth about" 1 
American public life. They have been lied to so much 
and hoodwinked so often that it would seem only fair 
for them to have at least one straight-from-the- 
shoulder statement concerning this government "of the 
people, by the people and for the people," about whose 
inner workings the people know almost nothing. 

The common people of the United States, like the 
same class of people in every other country, mean 
well, but they are ill-informed. Floundering about in 
their ignorance, they are tricked and robbed by those 
who have the inside information and who therefore 
know how to take advantage of every turn in the 
wheel of fortune. The people voted for Roosevelt be 
cause he talked of "trust-busting" at the same time 
that he was sanctioning the purchase of the Tennessee 
Coal and Iron Company by the Steel Trust. They sup 
ported Wilson "because he kept us out of war" at 
the same time that Wilson was making preparations 
to enter the war. The rulers can negotiate "secret 
treaties" at home and abroad. The people, knowing 
nothing of either the theory or the practice of secret 
diplomacy, commit all sorts of follies for which they 
themselves must later foot the bill. 

At the present moment the American people are 
being taught "Americanism" taught by the same 
gentry who are making away with billions of dollars, 
sometimes "legally" and sometimes without any sanc 
tion in the law. 

The most prominent among the leaders of the Amer 
icanization campaign were the most prominent among 

war profiteers. They are the owners of resources 
and industries the owners of America. It is from 
them that the preparedness agitation came in 1915 and 
1916, and it is from them that the new preparedness 
agitation is coming now. 

Here is a newspaper story in the New York Herald 
(November 7, 1920) which illustrates the point. The 
story, evidently inspired by the War Department, is; 
devoted to a description of certain big guns and cer 
tain new forms of tanks that the government is at 
the present time busy manufacturing. The country 
was caught napping once, says the writer, but the 
War Department is going to be sure that the same- 
thing does not happen again. Therefore, it is build 
ing up its machinery now, while the country is stil 
at peace. In this work the War Department is as 
sisted "by some of the leading industrial spirits of 
the country, who are keeping up the same enthusiastic 
devotion to the service of their country they displayed, 
in the war. A little army of dollar-a-year men, headed 
by Benedict Crowell, former Assistant Secretary of 
War, has mobilized itself under the name of Army 
Ordnance Association and is giving its valuable time: 
to the country without costing the government a single 

Who are the members of this "little army" of pa 
triots? The Herald gives the answer in full. Besides 
Mr. Crowell, there are, in the Army Ordnance Asso 
ciation, William Wheeler Coleman, president of the 
Bucyrus Company of Milwaukee, Wis. ; Charles Eliot 
Warren, past president of the American Bankers As 
sociation; Ralph Crews, of the law firm of Sherman & 
Sterling, New York City; Guy Eastman Tripp, chair 
man of the board of directors of the Westinghouse 
Company; Samuel McRoberts, of the National City 
Bank of New York; Waldo Calvin Bryant, president 
of the Bryant Electric Company; Frank Augustus 
Scott, former chairman of the War Industries Board; 
Robert P. Lamont, president of the American Steel 

Foundries of Chicago, and C. L. Harrison, of the First 
National Bank of Cincinnati. 

What do these patriotic business men hope to gain 
by their devotion to the preparedness program of the 
War Department? The answer appears later in the 
same articles: "It is this desire to keep abreast of 
the world s performances in ordnance that has 
prompted the War Department to ask for an increased 
appropriation next year. The department s appropria 
tion last year was $377,246,944. The estimates for 
this year call for an appropriation of approximately 
$814,000,000." The difference, or $435,000,000, repre 
sents the value of contracts that will go to the business 
interests of the United States. 

Again, bankers, lawyers, manufacturers and busi 
ness men are going to save the country not by keep 
ing us out of war, but by getting ready for the next 
war. It is these men who dominate the life and 
thought as well as the industries . of these United 
States, and it is just such men that have been in 
control of the United States ever since I entered the 
Senate thirty years ago. 

It is fifty years since I began to take an interest in 
public affairs. During those years I have been par 
ticipating, more or less actively, in public life first 
as a government surveyor, then as a member of the 
Legislature of Dakota; as a member of the House of 
Representatives and, finally, as a member of the United 
States Senate. Since 1880 I have known the important 
men in both the Republican and Democratic parties ; I 
have known the members of the diplomatic corps; I 
have known personally the last ten presidents of the 
United States, and I have known personally the lead 
ing business men who backed the political parties and 
who made and unmade the presidents. For half a 
century I have known public men and have been on 
the inside of business and politics. Through all of 
that time I have lived and worked with the rulers 
of America. 

When I entered the arena of public affairs in 1870, 
the United States, with a population of thirty-eight 
millions, was just recovering from the effects of the 
Civil War. The economic life of the old slave-holding 
South lay in ruins. Even in the North, the Panic of 
1873 swept over the business world, taking its toll i:i 
commercial failures and unemployment and an increase 
in the number of tenant farmers. The policy of send 
ing carpet-bagging rascals into the embittered Sout i 
hindered reconciliation, and sectional differences pre 
vented any effective co-operation between the two por 
tions of the country. The result was a heavy loss i:i 
productive power and in political position. Throug i 
this period, the United States was an inconsequential 
factor in international affairs. 

The transformation from that day to this is com 
plete. With three times the population; with .sectior- 
alism practically eliminated; with the South recoverei 
economically and the economic power of the Norti 
vastly increased ; with more wealth than any other five 
nations of the world combined; with the credit of the 
world in her hands; with large undeveloped, or only 
slightly developed resources ; with a unified population 
and a new idea of world importance, the United States 
stands as probably the richest and most influential 
among the great nations. 

I witnessed the momentous changes and participated 
in them. While they were occurring I saw something 
else that filled me with dread. I saw the government 
of the United States enter into a struggle with the 
trusts, the railroads and the banks, and I watched while 
the business forces won the contest. I saw the forms 
of republican government decay through disuse, and I 
saw them betrayed by the very men who were sworn 
to preserve and uphold them. I saw the empire of 
business, with its innumerable ramifications, grow up 
around and above the .structure of government. I 
watched the power over public affairs shift from the 
weakened structure of republican political machinery 


to the vigorous new business empire. Strong men who 
saw what was occurring no longer went into politics. 
Instead, they entered the field of industry, and with 
them the seat of the government of the United States 
was shifted from Washington to Wall Street. With 
this shift, there disappeared from active public life 
those principles of republican government that I had 
learned to believe were the means of safeguarding 
liberty. After the authority over public affairs had 
been transferred to the men of business, I saw the 
machinery of business pass from the hands of indi 
viduals into the hands of corporations artificial per 
sons created in the imagination of lawyers, and given 
efficacy by the sanction of the courts and of the law. 
W T hen I turned to the reading of American history, I 
discovered that these things had been going on from 
the beginnings of our government, that they had 
grown up with it, and were an essential part of its 
structure. From surprise and disgust I turned to anal 
ysis and reason and, for the past twenty years, I have 
been watching the public life of the United States with 
an understanding mind. For a long time I have known 
what was going on in the United States. Today I think 
that I know why it is going on. 

When I look back over the half century that has 
passed since I first entered public life, I can hardly 
realize that the America, which I knew and believed in 
as a young man in the twenties, could have changed 
so completely in so short a time. Even when I know 
the reason for the change, it is hard to accept it as 
a reality. 

Many of the public men who have lived and worked 
in the United States during the past century have writ 
ten their impressions of public affairs. Bentpn, Elaine, 
Grant and Sherman discussed the public life of the 
middle of the last century. Since then, there have been 
many autobiographies and memoirs. I have read these 
books carefully, and it seems to me that not one of the 
writers is at the same time a student and a realist. 


First of all, they have written about politics, with 
very little or no attention to the economic forces that 
were shaping politics. In the second place, too many 
of them have written the agreeable things and left 
the disagreeable ones unsaid. In the third place, they 
have written what they believed should have happened 
rather than what actually did happen. Fourth, and by 
1 far the most important, each of these men has written 
I as a member of a ruling class, pleased with himself, 
i and satisfied that rule by his class was the best thing 
j for the community. The pictures that these men give 
are like the decisions of our courts built of prece 
dents rather than of realities. 

It is my ambition to tell my fellow-countrymen what 
has happened during the half century that I have 
known public life. I know what went on, because 1 
saw it. I want others to have the same knowledge 
During my public career I have received very definite 
impressions, and I am anxious to pass those impres 
sions on to others. I want to do this because I believe 
that my country is in danger; I believe that the liber 
ties of the American people are already well-nigh de 
stroyed; I believe that we are moving forward to i. 
crisis of immense significance to the future of the 
American people, and the ideas and ideals for whict 
the United States has stood before the world. We are; 
far along on the road to empire, and we are traveling- 
faster towards that goal than any nation in history 
ever traveled. 

It is with that purpose and in that spirit that I have 
written this book, and it is in that spirit that I ask 
them to consider and ponder what I have said there. 



My first struggle with the business interests, after I 
entered the Senate in 1889, came over the question of 
land-grabbing. At that time the Federal Government 
still owned millions of acres of valuable timber, mineral 
and agricultural land that might easily have been util 
ized for public advantage instead of for private gain. 
The attorneys and other representatives that the 
vested interests maintained in Washington were busy 
grabbing this land. I set myself to save it for the 

I was thoroughly familiar with the public Land Laws 
of the United States as I had been a practicing lawyer 
before the Land Department, a surveyor on the public 
domain, and beside that I had planted a timber claim 
with white ash trees which stand today. I, therefore, 
sought appointment upon the Senate Committee on 
Public Lands, of which Preston B. Plumb, of Kansas, 
was Chairman. In that position I had an excellent op 
portunity to see land grabbing from the inside. 

The House passed a bill to repeal the timber culture 
law "and for other purposes" in February, 1890. When 
the bill reached the Senate it was referred to the Com 
mittee on Public Lands, and Chairman Plumb appointed 
Senator Walthall of Mississippi and me as a sub-com 
mittee to consider the bill. I gave the matter very 
careful attention and, after some weeks of study and 
work, I reported the bill to the Senate in such a form 
that it involved a complete revision of the Federal land 
laws. The bill, containing nineteen sections, finally 
passed the Senate on the 16th of September, 1890. 

Immediately, upon its passage, a conference was re 
quested and Senators Plumb, Walthall and Pettigrew 
were appointed as Conference Committee on the part 
of the Senate. In the House the bill was referred to 
the Committee on Public Lands, which reported it 
back, early in the next session of Congress, agreeing 
to the Conference asked for by the Senate and appoint- 


ing three conferees, Payson of Illinois, Holman of Indi 
ana and Pickler of South Dakota. Plumb did not act 
with the Conference Committee. Walthall of Missis 
sippi and myself took full charge of the work and, 
after many conferences, we finally agreed upon and did 
report to each house a bill just as the Senate had 
passed it, with five additional sections, making twenty- 
four in all. The 24th section was as follows : 

"SEC. 24, p. 1103, 51st CONGRESS, MARCH 3, 1891. 
"That the President of the United States may from time 
to time set apart and reserve, in any State or Territory 
having public land bearing forests in any part of the public 
lands wholly or in part covered with timber or undergrowth, 
whether of commercial value or not as public reservations 
and the President shall by public proclamation declare the 
establishment of such reservations and the limits thereof." 

I give this section in full, first, because it resulted in 
departure in public policy that was highly advanta 
geous to the people of the United States, and second, 
because it led to one of the most bitterly fought par 
liamentary struggles in which I have ever participated. 

Section 24 was placed in the bill at my suggestion to 
take the place of the timber culture law, which never 
had produced any timber. I had offered this section 
in the Senate Committee on Public Lands, but the West 
ern Senators were opposed to "locking up" the country 
in forest reservations. In conference, while I had some 
difficulty, I secured an agreement which included this 
section in the bill. 

Nothing was done under Section 24 until after Cleve 
land commenced his second term and then he, as Presi 
dent, appointed a commission of eastern people to go 
out into the Western country Dakota, Wyoming, 
Colorado and establish the forest reservations. These 
men rode about the country in a Pullman car, and pre 
scribed the boundaries of forest reservations without 
any discriminating judgment. For example, they 
established the reservation of Black Hills in South Da 
kota, and embraced within its boundaries the city of 


Deadwood, and the towns of Leed, Custer and Hill City, 
which contained thousands of people who were mining, 
home-building and getting the timber necessary for 
these activities from the surrounding forests. Once 
these reservations were established it became impos 
sible to cut any timber upon them; consequently the 
people who had made their homes in the reserved area 
were practically compelled to move. 

Since no law had been passed for the administration 
of these newly created reserves, the country was com 
pletely locked up. No new people could go in and 
settle, and those already there found themselves re 
stricted on every hand. The result was a general dis 
satisfaction with the whole policy of forest reserva 

I realized that, unless some change was made, the 
whole policy would be discredited, and therefore I se 
cured legislation suspending reservations already lo 
cated until proper legislation could be secured for their 

Finally, at my request, Walcott, who was then at the 
head of the Geological Survey, prepared an amend 
ment to the Sundry Civil Appropriation Bill, which I 
offered in the Senate, providing for the administration 
of these forests. After this law for administration was 
enacted, the Secretary of the Interior informed me that 
he would make the boundaries of the Black Hills Forest 
Reservation whatever I might recommend. I went out 
to the Black Hills, held meetings of the people, and ex 
plained to them the purpose of the Forest Reservation. 
In every instance they passed resolutions in favor of 
being embraced with the Forest Reservation as admin 
istered under the new laws. By this direct appeal to 
the people most intimately concerned I was able to en 
large the reservation by over 200,000 acres. 

When I returned to Washington, the Secretary of the 
Interior asked me to suggest such rules and regulations 
as would best enable his Department to administer the 
forest reservations laws. In accordance with this re- 


quest I wrote out the rules and regulations which were 
afterwards adopted by him. 

I remember in one of the regulations that I provided 
for sowing the Black Hills spruce seed upon the snow 
in all the open parks and denuded places, so that when 
the snow melted these seeds would sink down into the 
moist ground and immediately sprout and grow; and 
today, there are many thousands more acres of forest 
in the Black Hills reservations than there were wher 
the law was enacted. 

Thus far matters had gone very nicely. I had had 
a hard fight to get the policy of forest reservation 
adopted and the reservations themselves established 
Now came the real fight to hold them for the people 
In the amendment which was added to the Sundry 
Civil Appropriation Bill I inserted a provision that per 
mitted any settler, who was embraced within a Foresl 
Reservation, to exchange his land, acre by acre, foi 
other government land, outside of the reservation 
Such a provision enabled settlers who had taken lane 
before the establishment of reservations to take up a 
new quarter section in case they did not care to live 
under the reservation regulations. 

The Conference Committee of the two houses thai 
considered the Sundry Civil Bill changed the wording 
i of this section in such a way that the land grant rail- 
i roads, which had received in all nearly two hundred 
\ million acres of land, could exchange their land, if em 
braced within a forest reservation, for the very best 
land the Government had remaining on the public do 
main outside of the reservation. Allison of Iowa was 
Chairman on the part of the Senate and Joe Cannon of 
Illinois, Chairman on the part of the House. The Con 
ference report came to the Senate the day before the 
end of the session. Therefore it was not printed, but 
was rushed through after having been read hurriedly 
by the clerk. I listened to the reading, but I did not no 
tice this change of wording in my amendment, and so 
this monstrous proposition became a law. 


Of course, the conferees knew what they were doing 
when they slipped through this provision. Under it, 
the Interior Department ruled that the land grant rail 
roads could exchange their odd sections, embraced 
within a forest reservation, for the best remaining 
acres of the public domain. The right to make this 
exchange was worth at least fifty millions of dollars to 
the land grant railroads. 

I did not discover this change, made by the Confer 
ence Committee, until I learned that the Department of 
the Interior was permitting the railroads to make these 
exchanges. As soon as I discovered this, I looked up 
the law and found what an enormous fraud had been 
practiced through the cunning of Senator Allison of 
Iowa, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, 
and Joe Cannon, Representative from Illinois, a banker 
and lawyer, and Chairman of the Committee on Appro 
priations in the House. Nearly ten years had dragged 
along, from the time I began the fight in favor of forest 
reservations, until this fraud was perpetuated on the 
American people by these two representatives of busi 

In order to meet the situation I presented an amend 
ment to the Sundry Civil Bill on May 31, 1900 (56th 
Congress, 1st Session, pages 6289 to 6298 of the Con 
gressional Record), which reads as follows: 

"And said superintendents, assistant inspectors, super 
visors and rangers shall, under the direction of the Secretary 
of the Interior, examine all lands within the boundaries of 
any forest reservation that belong to any land-grant railroad 
company, and have not heretofore been sold in good faith 
for a valuable consideration, and report to the Secretary the 
character and value of said land, and pending such examina 
tion and report none of said lands shall be exchanged for 
other lands outside of said reservation." 

It may be well to state at this point that the Central 
and Union Pacific Railroad had received grants by an 
Act of Congress, 20 miles wide, from the Missouri 
River on the west boundary of the State of Iowa, 
straight across the continent to the Pacific Ocean, 


through the length of the States of Nebraska, Wyo 
ming, Utah, Nevada, and California. The road has th 3 
odd sections on a strip 10 miles wide on each side of 
the tracks. The Northern Pacific Road received a 
grant of land 40 miles in width from some point in the 
State of Minnesota, clear through to the Pacific Ocean. 
This grant extended through the States of Minnesota, 
North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington, and 
the area granted included the odd sections throughout 
this entire region. These grants embraced the good 
and the bad land alike. Of necessity they included large 
areas on the tops of the Rocky Mountains and the Cas 
cade Range and a great deal of desert land. Whether 
by design or not, when the forest reservations wen; 
created, they embraced, indiscriminately, forested and 
non-forested districts. By ,some chance they also em 
braced large areas of desert land. These deserts were 
probably embraced intentionally so that the railroads 
could exchange their odd sections of worthless deser ; 
land for lands of great value outside the reservation. 

After I had presented the amendment just referred 
to, I made a statement of these facts, after which the 
following significant debate took place. I quote it in 
order to show where certain Senators lined up when r-; 
came to an issue between private interest and the pub 
lic welfare. (Cong. Record, May 31, 1900, 1st session. 
56th Congress, p. 6288.) 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "Mr. President, the amendment 
I propose is a provision for the protection and admin 
istration of forest reservation. Three years ago in an 
appropriation bill we provided for the protection and 
administration of these reservations, and provided that 
any actual and bona-fide settler who had taken a claim 
within a forest reservation afterwards created could 
exchange his land if he desired to do so, for a like area 
of the public domain. It was the intention of the law 
to allow a settler whose land was embraced in any for 
est reservation to exchange his land, if he desired to do 
so, for lands outside of the reservations, acre for acre. 


"But certain words were inserted under which the 
Department has decided that a land-grant railroad can 
exchange the worthless lands lands from which the 
timber has all been cut, tops of mountains, the inacces 
sible and snow-capped peaks of the Rockies and Sierra 
Nevadas for the best land the Government has, acre 
for acre. So they have swapped lands on the Cascade 
Range, which are covered forever with ice and snow, 
not worth a tenth of a cent an acre, for lands worth 
from six to ten dollars in the valleys of Washington 
and Oregon and Idaho and Montana, thus depriving the 
settlers of a chance to secure these lands, besides en 
larging the grants of the railroads to that extent. 

"Now, my amendment simply provides that these 
lands shall be inspected and examined by the officers 
who have charge of the reservations, and they shall re 
port to the Secretary the character of the lands that 
belong to these companies, .so that in the future we 
can make a proper adjustment not an adjustment by 
which they shall receive a thousand times more *than 
which they surrender and that while the appraise 
ment is going on no more exchanges shall be made. 
That is all that the amendment aims to accomplish, 
and it is one in the interest of the public beyond all 
questions, suspending the operation of a law which 
Congress would never have passed if it had been dis 

Mr. ALLISON : "I wish to say that this amendment, 
as it appears to me, is general legislation. Certainly 
on the statement made by the Senator from South Da 
kota, it changes the existing law. I hope he will not 
press it on this bill, because if he does we shall be 
obliged to make the point of order that it is proposed 
general legislation." 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "I wish to say that I do not be 
lieve it is subject to the point of order, because it pre 
scribes the duties of these officers who are provided 
for and the method of the expenditure of the appropri 
ation now in the bill. Therefore, I do not believe it is 


subject to the point of order. It seems to me if it is 
possible to insert the amendment we ought to do it and 
protect the Government and the people of this country 
against the execution of a law which we never would 
have passed if we had known what it contained." 

Mr. PETTIGREW : "I should like to ask the chairman 
of the Committee on Appropriations if the Secretary of 
the Interior did not think the law should be entirely re 

Mr. ALLISON: "The Secretary did." 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "Did he not think there were 
great frauds being practiced under it ?" 

Mr. ALLISON: "I have no doubt that is all true, 
but that is a subject we cannot deal with now." 

(The amendment is read again.) 

Mr. PENROSE: "I make the point of order that 
this is general legislation and contrary to the rule." 

THE PRESIDENT (protempore) : "The Chair has 
overruled that point of order. It has already been 
made. The question is on agreeing to the amendment." 

"The amendment was agreed to." 

Allison of Iowa, Tom Carter of Montana, Chandler of 
New Hampshire, Platt of Connecticut, Aldrich of Rhode 
Island, Penrose of Pennsylvania, Walcott of Colorado, 
Hawley of Connecticut, all joined in the fight against 
me to see that the land-grant railroads were given this 
vast graft at the expense of the people of the United 
States and against the public welfare. This is but a 
typical case. The lawyers in the Senate always lined 
up against the people of the United States and in favor 
of the railroads and the other predatory interests who 
are the real government of the United States. This 
Senate debate is significant because it shows that ras 
cality, graft, and public plunder are not political ques 
tions, especially in so far as the Senate of the United 
States is concerned. 

Observe that Allison of Iowa, who had inserted the 
amendment making possible the exchange of these rail 
road lands, was among the first to attack my amend- 


ment and to insist that it should not go into the bill. 
Observe further that Tom Carter, Chairman of the Re 
publican National Committee, took the same side. It 
was he who figured in the scandalous affair during 
Harriman s second campaign for election, at which 
time he collected from Cramp, the shipbuilder, $400,- 
000 and told Cramp where the money was to be ex 
pended. When Tom Carter died he left a large fortune. 
This same debate was participated in by Bill Chandler 
of New Hampshire, Stewart of Nevada and finally by 
Penrose of Pennsylvnia, who arose and for the sec 
ond time raised the point of order against my amend 
ment. Penrose is still in public life and he is still a 
faithful servant and representative of the great preda 
tory interests. He has never been a representative of 
the people of Pennyslvania or of the United States. 

Despite all of this opposition my amendment was 
adopted without a roll-call. The reason is plain. Neither 
these men nor their backers desired to have the amend 
ment become a law, but the scandal connected with 
the exchange of the railroad lands had gained such 
publicity, and the amendment was so clearly in the 
public interest that they did not dare to kill it openly. 
Besides, this was an amendment to the Sundry Civil 
Bill and could be changed in conference, and the con 
ference report forced through the Senate on the last 
day of the session. Allison of Iowa was called "Pussy 
foot Allison" by his fellow Senators because of his cun 
ning, his unscrupulous rascality, and his suavity, and 
he could be relied upon to throw out of the bill as re 
ported from the conference committee anything that 
threatened property interests. 

So the bill passed the Senate and went to conference. 

Allison was chairman of the conference on the part 
of the Senate and Joe Cannon on the part of the House. 
The conference struck out my amendment, adopted by 
the Senate, and inserted in its place the following: 

"That *11 selections of Land made in lieu of a tract cov 
ered by m unperfected bona-fide claim or by a patent in- 


eluded within a public forest reservation as provided in the 
Act of June 4, 1897, shall be confined to vacant surveyed 
non-mineral public lands which are subject to Homestead 
entry not exceeding in area the tract covered by such claim 
or patent." 

The conference simply struck out the Senate amend 
ment and inserted the original clause that they had 
placed in the Sundry Civil Bill of 1897 and under which 
the fraudulent exchange had taken place. The change 
would have permitted the railroads to continue the ex 
change of their worthless lands for the best of the 
government land and thus to plunder the public 

The Conference report came up in the Senate on the 
day before adjournment. I was watching to see what 
had been done with my amendment, for I knew Allison 
and Cannon were but paid attorneys of the railroads. 
When the amendment was read (56th Congress, 1st 
Session, Congressional Rec., p. 6690) : 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "I should like to understand the 
paragraph in relation to non-mineral lands. As I un 
derstand it, as read from the Secretary s desk, it per 
mits a continued exchange by the land-grant railroad 
companies of the worthless lands in the forest reserva 
tions for the best land the Government has. Is that 
correct ?" 

Mr. ALLISON: "I do not so understand it. The 
amendment provides for the exchange of surveyed 
lands only, and not of unsurveyed lands/ 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "But it allows the exchange?" 

Mr. ALLISON : It allows the exchange of surveyed 

Mr. PETTIGREW : "Mr. President, this conference 
report provides that lands where a railroad company 
has cut off all the timber or the land on the snow 
capped peaks of the mountains, if they are within a 
forest reservation, can be exchanged for the best lands 
the Government owns, acre for acre, for timber lands. 
Hundreds of thousands of acres have already been ex 
changed, and yet, although the Senate placed upon this 


bill an amendment which would stop that practice, the 
conference committee brings in a report to continue 

I wish to call particular attention to the statements 
made by Allison and Wolcott, that only surveyed land 
could be exchanged. This statement is specifically con 
tradicted by the wording of their own amendment. The 
falsity of the statement was well known to them, yet 
they made it for the purpose of deceiving the Senate. 

A number of the faithful friends of the plutocrats 
distinguished themselves signally in this debate. 
Among them were Senators Wolcott of Colorado and 
Hawley of Connecticut. 

Senator Wolcott, who came into the Senate without 
a dollar, retired from that body with a large fortune. 
He was always eager to get into the Record as having 
produced laughter on the part of the Senators. He 
considered his effort in the interest of the robbery of 
the public domain particularly worthy of credit. 

Old Hawley of Connecticut was always a champion 
of the interests. As long as I know him he was men 
tally incapacitated from comprehending anything ex 
cept the interests of the big business groups with 
which he always acted. He had an intellect like the 
soil of Connecticut, so poor by nature that it could not 
be exhausted by cultivation. 

The amendment, as modified by the Committee on 
Conference was finally agreed to, because if we did not 
agree to the Senate Civil Sundry Bill with this amend 
ment in it, an extra session would have been necessary. 
Thus the fraud was perpetuated, and the continued 
grabbing of public lands made possible. 

The frauds thus deliberately ratified by Congress 
after all the facts were known caused me to wonder 
what forces were in control of the Government, and 
convinced me that the lawyers who composed two- 
thirds of both Houses of Congress were but the paid 
attorneys of the exploiters of the American people, and 
that both political parties were but the tools in the 


hands of big business that were used to plunder the 
American people. The frauds begun under Cleveland, 
a Democratic President, were enlarged and completed 
under McKinley, a Republican President. Millions o:: 
acres of forest reservation were established in Mon 
tana, all within the grant of the Northern Pacific Rail 
road, where there was no timber or forests, only a little 
scrub pine that never was and never will be of any 
value for lumber or any kind of forest products, and 
that was done so that the Northern Pacific Railroad 
could exchange its odd sections of worthless desert for 
scrip, acre for acre, and this scrip sells for from $8 
to $10 per acre, and can be located on any land the 
Government owns anywhere within our broad domain, 
and the desert for which this scrip was exchanged was 
not and is not worth ten cents per acre. 

This is the story of one small event in the great 
drama of American public life that had been unfolding 
all around me. I have told it in detail because it shows, 
as well as anything that I ever learned, the fate thai; 
lay in wait for any measure aimed to promote the pub 
lic welfare. When I began this fight for the enactment, 
of forest legislation, I believed that we were enjoying 
a system of popular government in the United States. 
By the time the fight was ended, I understood that the-, 
country was being run by plunderers in the interest of 



Powerful interests were out to plunder the public 
domain. I had felt their grip. They were shrewdly 
advised. I had faced their spokesman in the Senate 
and the House. They were sinister. Many a man, 
under my eyes, had tried to thwart them, and not one 
such had remained an enemy of the vested interests 
and at the same time continued in public life. Never 
theless, I went straight ahead, trying to save the land 
for the people. I knew how enormously rich was the 
public domain; I had an idea of its possibilities. I 
wanted to have it used in the future, not for the enrich 
ment of the few, but for the well being of the many. 

In order to protect the public in their .sovereign 
rights over the remainder of the public domain, I 
worked out what I believed was a feasible plan for 
keeping the public domain in the hands of the public. 
After I had secured the forest legislation and the pas 
sage of the law administering forests, I introduced the 
following bill in the Senate on March 22, 1898 (55th 
Congress, 2nd Session) : 


To preserve the public lands for the people. 
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre 
sentatives of the United States of America, in Congress 

That the public lands of the United States, except reser 
vations, be and they are hereby donated to the States and 
Territories in which they may be located on the sole con 
dition that all such public lands shall bo held in perpetual 
ownership by such States and Territories to be used by 
the people residing therein free of rent under such regula 
tions as may be prescribed by the legislatures of such States 
and Territories each for itself. 

This bill had three purposes: 

1. To make use and not ownership the criterion in 
the distribution of nature s gifts to individual citizens. 

2. To keep the title to the public domain, including 
agricultural land, mineral land, timber land, water- 


power, and all other natural gifts, perpetually in the 
whole people, and thus to prevent any greater quanti 
ties from getting into the grip of the few. 

3. To localize control over the administration of the 
lands, so as to bring the problem closer to the people. 

Could this first step be taken, I believed that we 
should be in a position to go forward with a general 
program for the conservation of all resources. 

The bill was referred to the Committee on Public 
Lands, of which I was a member, and to the members 
of that committee, individually and collectively, and on 
the floor of the Senate, I presented my arguments. In 
support of my proposition that the public domain 
should be leased but never sold, I stated that the pub 
lic domain in my own state amounted to 20,000,000 
acres of grazing land. Then I showed that if these 
lands were conveyed to the State of South Dakota, 
with the privilege of leasing, they could be leased to 
cattlemen for ten cents an acre, which would produce 
a revenue of $2,000,000 a year. Then I showed that 
this money derived from farm leases could be used to 
build great reservoirs on the heads of all streams and 
store the flood-water, and thus irrigate and make 
productive large areas of this semi-arid land. 

In my own state, the opportunities for irrigation by 
means of artesian wells were unusual. I pointed out to 
the Senate that almost anywhere in the middle half of 
the state the artesian basin could be tapped at depths 
varying from 300 to 2,000 feet, each well releasing a 
flow almost marvelous in quantity. Many of these 
wells exhibit a pressure strong enough to drive heavy 
machinery, and from most of them water could be 
elevated 30 or 40 feet into reservoirs by the force of 
the head behind the artesian supply. Nature had thus 
made provision for irrigation on an extended scale in 
South Dakota, and all that was needed was the money 
with which to provide for the distribution of the water. 

I called the attention of the Senate to the fact that 
Dakota land was only one part of the public domain, 


and that the Dakota problem was only one aspect of 
the whole problem of conservation. I showed them 
that the United States had 500,000,000 acres of arid 
and semi-arid land, large areas of which could be irri 
gated to advantage, either through stream conserva 
tion or through the sinking of artesian wells. 

Furthermore, I showed that the Government, 
through its control of the lakes and streams of the 
country, had an opportunity to adopt constructive re 
lief measures designed to meet the recurring floods 
and droughts in the lower reaches of the rivers. Many 
of the streams are navigable. Successful navigation 
depends on the maintenance of a steady flow of water. 
Many were used for the generation of power. Again, 
there is a need to conserve the spring surplus to cover 
the needs of the late summer. Each spring this water, 
so sorely needed later, is allowed to run off from the 
land, not only wasting the .supply but, through floods, 
overflowing the banks and destroying temporarily or 
permanently large areas of fertile and cultivated land. 

For the purpose of preventing this destruction, par 
ticularly along the Mississippi, Congress had for many 
years appropriated money for the construction of 
dykes and levees, under the theory that such work was 
for the benefit of commerce. Here was a twofold prob 
lem: Millions of acres of arid land, on the one hand, 
required only water to make them produce splendid 
crops. On the other hand, the interests of commerce, 
of power development and of the dwellers along .some 
of the larger rivers, demanded an intelligent regulation 
of stream flow. 

It was estimated at that time by the Government 
authorities that 72,000,000 acres of land could be thus 
reclaimed and made to produce crops sufficient to sup 
port 15,000,000 people. The benefit that commerce, 
industry and agriculture would derive from such a plan 
would be incalculable. Therefore, I moved an appro 
priation of from one to two hundred million dollars to 
begin the building of such reservoirs as were most ur- 


gently needed and the establishment of irrigation proj 
ects in the districts that would yield the most imme 
diate results. 

I further showed that if the storm water was all 
stored in these reservoirs, it would reduce the floods 
on the great rivers the Missouri and the Mississippi 
and obviate the necessity of building embankments to 
reclaim the lands heretofore flooded by these great 
rivers. Thus, the leasing of the land held the title for 
all the people, while it made the land available for such 
as were able to utilize it. 

For my part, I stated that I would prefer to have 
Congress turn over its arid and semi-arid land, lying 
within its boundaries, to the State of South Dakota, 
because I believed the problem would be practically 
and honestly worked out to the great advantage of the 
people of that state. The same thing I insisted was 
true of Idaho, of Montana, of Wyoming, of Colorado, 
of Nevada, of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Western 
Kansas, Western Nebraska and North Dakota. I in 
sisted that the nation could not afford longer to neglect 
this great opportunity for material advancement, 
which I considered of fully as much importance, if not 
of more importance, to the future greatness and pros 
perity of this country than the clearing out of harbors 
along the small streams of the coast, or even the devel 
opment of the great harbors themselves. 

The arguments fell on deaf ears. These questions 
arose during the days following the Spanish War and 
preceding the conquest of the Philippines. We had 
started upon a career of conquest rather than one 
of internal improvement. The Administration, backed 
by many of the people, believed that it was of great 
benefit to this country that we should annex 10,000,000 
people in the Philippines. Instead of spending hun 
dreds of millions in conquering the Philippines, it 
would have been far better economy and better busi 
ness judgment to spend it in reclaiming the arid lands 
of the west. 


At the time that I presented these arguments to the 
Senate, I considered them weighty. I consider them 
weighty today. I believe that they represented the 
only statesmanlike approach to the problem of resource 
conservation and that they suggested a line of action 
that might have been followed to the advantage of the 
people of the United States. Yet I was unable to per 
suade the committee to report the bill back to the Sen 
ate in any form. 

There was no question of choosing between two poli 
cies. The committee had no policy on this subject. On 
the subject of the public domain they had only one 
conclusion that the only way to make a state or terri 
tory prosperous was to get the title of the public 
domain put of the Government and into the hands of 
some private interest, by selling it, or giving it away, 
or doing anything to get rid of it. 

There was not a single member of the committee on 
public lands that was in favor of the sovereign owner 
ship of the natural resources. They wanted to deed 
not only the land, but the minerals underneath the 
land, and also to convey the water power so that these 
utilities, of no value except that which the community 
gave them, could be used to enrich individuals and ex 
ploit the whole population. Everyone was opposed to 
public utilities being used for any other purposes than 
that of enriching individuals, and corporations were 
being rapidly formed for the purpose of more thor 
oughly performing this work of exploitation. 

Two-thirds of both houses were lawyers, and they 
believed that the rights of property, no matter how 
acquired, were the only sacred thing in connection with 
humanity, and the only legitimate subjects for the 
consideration of a well-ordered legislative chamber in 
an intelligently directed state. The same point of view 
has prevailed ever .since, and therefore no policy of re 
claiming and utilizing the public domain for the benefit 
of the people of the United States has ever been 
adopted. Instead, the 65th Congress, at its second 


session, passed the infamous Shield s Water Power 

The natural resources of the United States, a hun 
dred years ago, were the richest possessed by any mod 
ern nation. Like the air and the sunlight, they existed 
in almost limitless abundance. But the "land-hog," in 
his multitude of corporate forms, came upon the scene 
and today the timber (except 170,000,000 of acres em 
braced within the forest reservations), coal, copper, 
iron and oil that once belonged to the American people 
are in the hands of a few very rich men who, with their 
agents and attorneys and hangers-on, administer these 
free natural gifts for their own profit. At the present 
moment, the one great resource remaining in the hands 
of the whole people the "white coal" of our streams 
and rivers is being gobbled up by the public utility 
corporations, which plan to charge four prices for a 
commodity that should go to the people at its cost of 

I made my fight in the land because it was so basic 
and so important from the point of view of economic 
strategy; because it was so rich; because, by holding 
and using it for their common advantage, the Ameri 
can people might have remained free; because this 
same land, in the hands of a small and unscrupulous 
ruling caste, will not only enable the members of that 
caste to live parasitically upon the labor of the remain 
der of the community, but will give them the right to 
decide who among the citizens of the United States 
shall be able to earn a living and who shall be con 
demned to slow starvation. 

I lost my fight on the land because every branch of 
the government machinery was manned by the agents 
and attorneys of the interests which were busy grab 
bing the public domain; because, through their control 
of the press, they kept the public in ignorance of the 
things that were really transpiring, and because the 
people, lulled by soft words such as "liberty" and "con 
stitutional rights," were busily pursuing their daily 


occupations, secure in the belief that the Government 
would protect them. So I lost the fight because those 
who wanted the land were keen and powerful, though 
few in number: while the many, from whom the few 
stole it, were basking in the belief that they were citi 
zens of a "free country." 



My life in the West taught me the power of the land- 
grabbers. My experience in the East gave me an in 
sight into the power of the banker. The land-grabber 
cornered land. The banker corners money and credit. 
Both are able through their monopolies to plunder the 
producers of the product of their toil. 

We learned, through our experiences with the East 
ern bankers, that the institution which can issue money 
and extend credit holds the key to the whole business 
world. The banks, under the present laws, can do both, 
and this fact makes them the dictators of business life. 

Perhaps a little story, "The Evolution of a Banker," 
will help to show what the banker does to his fellow- 

In 1868 placer gold was discovered high up on the 
sides of Mount Shasta, in Northern California. The 
report of this discovery was quickly known in other 
placer mining camps farther ,south, and a great stam 
pede occurred. Five or six hundred miners, at one 
time, went to Shasta, staked out their claims, and com 
menced mining. 

Of course there was every variety of the genus 
homo, from the saloon-keepers, gamblers and highway 
men to miners, speculators and prospectors a motley 
crowd. Among the others there was Robert Waite, an 
educated fellow a sort of graduate who could talk 
on every subject from the Bible to Hoyle. Then there 
was Silver Jack who, when he was not mining; was 
shooting up the mining camps or robbing stage-coaches. 

When they arrived at Shasta, all of the members of 
the crowd, with one exception, staked out claims and 
went to work. The diggings were good. The returns 
were high. 

In the camp lived the usual hangers-on, and among 
them there was one man who among all of his fellows 
had staked out no claim. Everybody else worked at 
something. He never worked. The others were equal 
and democratic. He held himself aloof. He was 


better dressed than the others; he was never about in 
the daytime, but in the early evening he might be seen 
loitering about the gambling houses. He neither swore 
nor drank; he talked but little, and he was known by 

As the weeks went by he opened a little office and 
began to lend money to miners who had a good claim 
and who were dissipating their earnings, at four per 
cent a month. Time passed, and he opened a bank. 
Because of his personal habits and rather agreeable 
appearance, the miners deposited their savings with 
him. He paid the depositors ten per cent a year, and 
loaned the money to other miners, who were willing to 
give their claims as security, for four per cent a month. 
Under these conditions the bank flourished and the 
banker made money. 

But one day he sold the bank and moved to San Fran 
cisco, and there opened a bank on a large scale, and 
became known as one of the great financiers of the 
Pacific Coast. A few years afterward, when he had 
become famous, he removed to New York and entered 
the circle of the great financiers of the world, and 
became widely known as a manipulator of moneys and 

At a banquet which he gave to celebrate the thirtieth 
year of his entry into the banking business, he grew 
enthused with wine, and in his speech gave a sketch of 
his life and told how he was the first banker in Shasta 
in 68. Thereupon the miners at Shasta those of the 
oldtimers who still remained held a meeting to dis 
cuss the question. And they .said : 

"Why this man is not the man who started the first 
bank in Shasta ; or, if he is, then his name was ,so-and- 
so, and we remember him well." 

And they thereupon appointed a committee of three 
to make an investigation and ascertain how the great 
banker got his start, and the committee reported that 
he had gone with the stampede to Shasta, had taken no 
claim and done no work whatever; but that he slept 


days and crawled around at night and stole from each 
of the miners so little of the day s production that he 
did not mis,s it. The committee therefore resolved that 
he had changed his name but had not changed the 
methods of doing business which he inaugurated at 
Shasta in the early days. He was still stealing so little 
from each of his fellow men that they did not miss it, 
and had thus accumulated an enormous fortune and 
become one of the greatest financiers of the world. 

The committee further concluded that no person or 
corporation should be permitted to do a banking busi 
ness under any circumstances; that the medium of ex 
change was the life-blood of business and the most 
important of all public utilities and that, therefore, it 
should be controlled by the government alone; that 
every post-office should be a savings bank, and that the 
government should establish commercial banks every 
where and loan money to the people at just what it 
cost to do the business above w r hat was paid the depos 
itors who placed their surplus in the Postal Savings 
Banks, so that if the Postal Banks paid three per cent 
to depositors, the Government commercial banks would 
loan this money to the people of the locality where i ; 
was deposited for not to exceed three and a half per 
cent. And thus this great engine of exploitation, now 
operated to plunder the producers of wealth in the 
United States, would be turned into a great public 
benefaction and compel the bankers parasites on 
society to join the ranks of the producing classes. 

The banking business is a parasite business; the 
banker is a member of a parasite class; yet >so com 
pletely does he dominate the present order of society 
that, instead of being punished by society and com 
pelled to take a position and earn his living like the 
masses of the people, through the pursuit of some use 
ful occupation, the banker is generously rewarded; 
laws are passed in his favor and he is encouraged and 
assisted in his efforts to pluck his fellow men. 

For years, under our National Bank Act, the banker 


could subscribe for Government bonds, deposit them 
in the Treasury, and have the Treasury issue to him 
the full face value of the bonds in currency. Thus he 
retained the bonds and at the same time was able to 
.secure an equal amount of money which he could use 
for his private profit in the banking business. The 
issue of money was thus made a function of private 
banking institutions. They could not only lend money; 
they could actually create it. 

During my visit to Japan, I received some interesting 
sidelights on our banking business as the Japs saw it. 

Before going to Japan I talked with the Japanese 
Minister in Washington, and secured from him all of 
the books published in English giving the history and 
the economic development of Japan. I also secured 
two large volumes on the Japanese banking system 
written by Soyeda, a Jap educated in England, who was 
then the Treasurer of Japan. When I arrived Soyeda 
met me; and he not only entertained me very gra 
ciously, but talked with me on many occasions. 

I had noticed in reading his book on Japanese bank 
ing that Japan had at first adopted the American Na 
tional Banking system, but had abandoned it after four 
years of trial. I asked Soyeda why this was. 

He explained that four years had convinced them 
that the system was entirely unworkable because 
under it the bankers could cause an expansion of the 
currency whenever it was profitable for the bankers to 
expand, and a contraction of the currency whenever it 
was profitable for them to contract. The resulting 
panics benefited the creditor class and ruined the pro 
ducing class: that in fact our banking system worked 
in Japan just as it worked here expanding the cur 
rency to gratify the greed of the bankers when expan 
sion was to their profit, and contracting it in the inter 
est of the bankers whenever it was to their advantage 
to contract the volume of money. 

Japan has concluded that all money should be issued 
by the Government and its volume regulated by index 


numbers so as to maintain a steady range of prices ; 
that is, when the volume of money was unduly ex 
panded, it would cause a rise in all prices and lead to 
the expansion of business and a new credit ; that when 
ever the money was unduly contracted in volume, it 
would lead to a decline of all prices, cause panics, and 
allow the creditors to take possession of the property 
of the producers. 

And so the Japanese established a central bank and 
branches, and the nation issued its own currency. In 
other words, the Japs discovered a great economic law, 
well known to some people of the United States, but 
the officials of Japan had the honesty and character to 
act upon this law instead of following our example of 
leaving the issue of money and the control of its vol 
ume in the hands of a few manipulators to be used as 
an engine for exploiting the producing population. 

This Japanese situation was interesting to me. I 
had left the Republican party in 1896 on this very issue. 

The Japs with their keen sense of values and their 
willingness to experiment learned in four years what 
the American people had not learned in forty that the 
banking power in private hands makes the bankers the 
autocrats of the business world. 

This lesson came to me with double force. When I 
returned to America I found Congress debating the ex 
tension of National Bank charters. Aldrich of course 
was for the extended charters. In the Senate (March 
2, 1901), two days before my term as Senator expired, 
he said: 

"The present charters of the National Banks expire 
from time to time, commencing July 14, 1920. The law 
is that new plates shall be issued to all banks in ex 
tending their charters. The preparation of these plates 
will take nearly a year, and it is desirable that this bill 
should be passed at this session. There can be no 
objection to it. It is simply a matter of form, as cer 
tainly the time of the charters will be extended in the 
next Congress." 


Mr. PETTIGREW: "Mr. President, I do not believe 
that the charters ever ought to have been issued, and 
I am certainly opposed to their being renewed. I be 
lieve the system is a pernicious one and has a tendency 
to breed panics, to expand the currency when it ought 
to be contracted, and to contract it when it ought to be 
expanded. Japan adopted this system, and after thor 
ough investigation repealed the lav/, and for this very 

"Under this system, which is a branch of our finan 
cial system, the banks can produce a panic whenever 
they please, and wreck the property of this country or 
any other country where the system exists. The sub 
ject ought to be studied and thoroughly investigated. 
These charters never should be renewed, and a remedy 
should be offered by which we could have an elastic 
currency rather than one which produces too much 
when there is already too much and too little when 
there is already too little, and puts the control of the 
volume of the money of the country in the hands of a 
combination of national bankers. I therefore object to 
the bill." 

The bill therefore went over to the next session. 
Then, after my term of service in the Senate expired, 
the bill was passed. 

The experiences of the American banking system 
during the great war confirmed my view in every par 
ticular. The Federal Reserve Act, passed in 1913, had 
made possible the centralization of banking power. The 
war did the work. As Roger Babson recently stated 
the matter: 

"In 1914 we had 30,000 banks, functioning in a great 
degree in independence of one another. Then came the 
Federal Reserve Act, and gave us the machinery for 
consolidation, and the emergency of five-years war fur 
nished the hammer-blows to weld the structure into 

Mr. Alexander is right about the strength of the 
American banking system. Under the Federal Reserve 


Act the vast power of the thirty thousand American 
banks is concentrated in the hands of a little club with 
headquarters in Wall Street. This club holds in its 
hands the power to make or to destroy any business 
man in the United States ; the power to make or wreck 
financial institutions and inaugurate panics ; the power 
to issue credit, even money. The bankers at the center 
of the financial web are endowed with the power of 

The right to issue money is, as I have said, funda 
mental. This right is exercised by the New York 
Bankers Club, thinly disguised as the Federal Reserve 
Board. On November 3, 1920, the amount of Federal 
Reserve notes outstanding was $3,588,713,000. 

What was the basis of this huge issue of paper 
money? Commercial paper! 

The member banks were permitted to lend money 
(or credit) to their patrons ; to take commercial paper 
in exchange for their loans ; to deposit this paper under 
the authority of the Board, and to issue currency 
against it. This currency was again loaned out, the 
paper redeposited, etc., so that the Federal Reserve 
Bank of New York was able to earn, by this pyramid 
ing of credits, over 200 per cent in the frugal year of 
1920, in a market where the rate of interest never ran 
over 8 per cent on standard securities. 

Through their authority over money and credit, the 
bankers thus became the arbiters of the business des 
tiny of the United States. No one elected them. No 
one can recall them. There is no way in which they 
can be made the object of public approval or disap 
proval. They are as far above public responsibility as 
was William Hohenzollern in Germany before 1914. 
Self-elected dictators of American life, they make and 
unmake; they wreck and rule. They are the heart of 
business America the center of the exploiting .system 
that sits astride the necks of the people. 

The United States emerged from the Great War with 
the best credit of any of the larger nations. Its wealth 


was the greatest; its income the largest, and its bank 
assets and resources exceeded those of any other coun 
try ; but this very economic position, centered as it is in 
the hands of bankers, will be used by them to exploit 
the peoples of Latin America and Asia as they have 
during recent years exploited the people of the United 
States. Exploitation is the profession of the banker, 
and those in charge of the American banking institu 
tions have the greatest exploiting opportunity that has 
ever come to the bankers in any of the modern nations. 



My experiences with the world of affairs have con 
vinced me that the power in our public life was exer 
cised through the bankers. My study of banking 
showed me that the grip which the bankers were able 
to maintain on the economic system depended largely 
upon their ability to control money. There were two 
ways in which they exercised this control. One was 
by determining who should issue money. The other 
was by specifying its character. The bankers of the 
United States have been in a position to decide both 
of these questions in their own interest. 

The Constitution of the United States says that the 
Congress shall have power to coin money, to regulate 
the value thereof and of foreign coins, and to fix the 
standard of weight and measures. The Constitution 
does not empower Congress to delegate the right to 
issue money to any person or combination of persons. 

Yet the Congress has always delegated the right to 
issue money to the banks. The power thus conferred 
by Congress upon the banks to issue money has been 
used by the bankers to exploit and plunder the people 
of the United States. 

While I was a member of the House of Representa 
tives (1880) I had become acquainted with Peter 
Cooper of New York. The renewal of the National 
Bank charters was under discussion in the House at the 
time and of course the whole question of currency and 
of our economic system was covered in the debate. One 
day Peter Cooper of New York placed upon our desks 
a pamphlet dealing with the money question. I read 
this pamphlet with great interest, because Peter Cooper 
was called a "greenbacker" and was supposed to be in 
favor of what they called "fiat" money. Again and 
again throughout the debate his name had been men 
tioned and he had been abused by the speakers. 

The foundation theory of Peter Cooper s pamphlet 
was that the law of supply and demand applied to 
money just as it applies to other commodities, so that 


an abundance of money would be registered in the rise 
in the price of all those things whose value is measured 
in terms of money. In other words, that the law of 
supply and demand (the theory that quantity affects 
price) applies to money as well as to corn, oats, and 
potatoes. Therefore, the proof of a too great abun 
dance of money lay in the universal rise of prices ; and, 
conversely, the proof of money scarcity was the univer 
sal decline in prices. Following this theory, it became 
evident that while the price of any one commodity 
would rise or fall, according to the variations in the 
supply of and the demand for that commodity, a gen 
eral rise or fall of all prices indicated that money was 
too abundant or too scarce. Peter Cooper held that 
money was redeemed whenever it was exchanged by 
the possessor for the things which he desired more 
than he desired the money, and that there .should be no 
other form of redemption. In other words, money 
should be issued by the government and its volume so 
regulated as to maintain a steady range of prices. 

I was so interested in this pamphlet that I went to 
New York, made the personal acquaintance of Peter 
Cooper, and talked with him many times and quite 
fully upon social and economic questions. These talks, 
and the ideas which I had secured from my reading, 
convinced me that so long as the banks controlled the 
issue of money, they would be able to determine the 
economic life of the United States. 

Shortly after my entrance into the Senate, the whole 
question was dramatized in the struggle over the free 
coinage of silver 

The big business interests had become convinced 
that if the United States was to take her position as 
one of the great exploiting nations of the world she 
must follow the example of England the world s 
premier empire and establish a gold basis for the cur 
rency. It was in opposition to this policy of imperial 
ism that we advocated the free and unlimited coinage 
of silver. 


We were demanding that, in this respect, the United 
States should take a position worthy of her great tra 
ditions and refuse to strike hands with the interna 
tional plunderers who were busy with their work of 
economic aggression in all parts of the world 
of us, who were opposing British or any other brand of 
imperialism, were, with equal insistence, demanding 
that the United States adopt a money system calcu 
lated to protect the borrower as against the lender, and 
so designed as to take out of the hands of private indi 
viduals the huge power that money-lending conferred. 

Many of the leaders of American public life were 
urging that the United States must wait for England 
to move, but the absurdity of such a proposition was 
apparent on its face. Indeed, her leading statesmen 
declared that fact in so many words. Thus Gladstone 
is credited with the following statement in a speech to 
the House of Commons. (London Times, March 1, 
1893) : 

"I suppose there is not a year which passes over our 
heads which does not largely add to the mass of British 
investments abroad. I am almost afraid to estimate 
the total amount of property which the United King 
dom holds beyond the limits of the United Kingdom, 
but of this I am well convinced, that it is not to be 
counted by tens or hundreds of millions. One thousand 
millions ($5,000,000,000) probably would be an ex 
tremely low and inadequate estimate. Two thousand 
millions ($10,000,000) or fifteen hundred millions 
than that, is very likely to be nearer the mark. ( Hear ! 
Hear! ) I think under these circumstances it is rather 
a serious matter to ask this country to consider 
whether we are going to perform this supreme act of 
self-sacrifice. I have a profound admiration of cosmo 
politan principles. I can go a great length, in modera 
tion (laughter), in recommending their recognition and 
establishment, but if there are these two thousand 
millions ($10,000,000,000) or fifteen hundred millions 
($7,500,000,000 of money which we have got abroad, it 


is a very serious matter as between this country and 
other countries. 

"We have nothing to pay them; we are not debtors 
at all ; we should get no comfort, no consolation, out of 
the substitution of an inferior material, of a cheaper 
money, which we could obtain for less and part with 
for more. We should get no consolation, but the con 
solation throughout the world would be great. (Loud 
laughter.) This splendid spirit of philanthropy, which 
we cannot too highly praise because I have no doubt 
all this is foreseen would result in our making a pres 
ent of fifty or a hundred millions ($500,000,000) to the 
world. It would be thankfully accepted, but I think the 
gratitude for your benevolence would be mixed with 
very grave misgivings as to your wisdom. I have 
.shown why we should pause and consider for ourselves 
once, twice, and thrice before departing from the solid 
ground on which you have, within the last half century, 
erected a commercial fabric unknown in the whole his 
tory of the world before departing from the solid 
ground you should well consult and well consider and 
take no step except such as you can well justify to your 
own understanding, to your fellow countryman, and to 
those who come after us." (Cheers.) 

How could England be expected to abandon an eco 
nomic system that was yielding hundreds of millions 
in yearly profits to her bankers and investors ? 

Again and again this issue has been raised at inter 
national conferences. 

The first conference was held in 1867 at the invita 
tion of France, and met at Paris on June 17, 1867. 
Eighteen of the principal European countries and the 
United States participated They voted unanimously 
against the single silver standard, and every nation 
participating in that conference voted in favor of the 
single gold standard but the Netherlands, and they 
also voted to establish the 25-franc gold pieces as an 
international coin. 

The next conference met, at the invitation of the 


United States, at Paris, August 16, 1878. Twelve coun 
tries were represented. Germany refused to send dele 
gates. It was proposed by the United States, first, that 
it is not to be desired that silver shall be excluded from 
free coinage in Europe and the United States ; second, 
that the use of both gold and silver as unlimited legal 
tender may be safely adopted by equalizing them at a 
ratio fixed by international agreement. 

Then the convention resolved what? Simply this, 
and nothing more : That the difference of opinion that 
had appeared excluded the adoption of a common ratio 
between the two metals, and then adjourned. 

The next, or third, conference was called by France 
and the United States, and was held in 1881, nineteen 
countries being represented. The delegates from Swe 
den said that they had better reaffirm the declaration 
of 1878, and the conference reaffirmed that declaration 
and adjourned never to meet again. The declaration 
of 1878 was that the differences of opinion which had 
appeared excluded the adoption of a common ratio be 
tween the two metals. 

The next conference was held at Brussels in 1892. 
At that conference the United States proposed, not the 
free and unlimited coinage of silver at any ratio, but 
simply this: The United States had at first sent an 
invitation to Great Britain, asking that government 
to join us in a convention to adopt both metals at a 
ratio to be agreed upon. Great Britain refused to ac 
cept the invitation to the conference to discuss the 
question of agreeing upon a ratio for the coinage of the 
two metals, but, when we changed the invitation so as 
to provide for simply meeting and discussing the ques 
tion of the enlarged use of silver, Great Britain joined 
in the conference, and this was the program of the 
United States in the conference of 1892: 

That in the opinion of this conference it is 
desirable that some measure should be found 
for increasing the use of silver in the currency 
system of the nations. 


That was all. No greater or broader resolution would 
be accepted by Great Britain. Neither would she join 
us in a conference to discuss the question of the ratio. 
But what more? Mr. Wilson, a delegate from Great 
Britain, immediately said: 

"Her Majesty s Government did not find it 
possible to accept an invitation conveyed in 
terms which might give rise to a misunder 
standing by implying that the Government 
had some doubt as to the maintenance of the 
monetary system which had been in force in 
Great Britain since 1816." 

Speaking of Sir Charles Freemantle and himself, he 

"Our faith is that of the school of mono 
metallism pure and simple. We do not admit 
that any other than the simple gold standard 
would be applicable to our country." 

Early in the session the leading delegate from Ger 
many declared: 

"Germany, being satisfied with its mone 
tary system, has no intention of modifying its 
basis. ... In view of the satisfactory monetary 
situation of the Empire, the Imperial Govern 
ment has prescribed the most strict reserve 
for its delegates, who, in consequence, cannot 
take part either in the discussion or in the 
vote upon the resolution presented by the 
delegates of the United States." 

Germany, in that conference, then refused to dis 
cuss or vote one way or another upon a proposition 
simply for the enlarged use of silver. 

Austria-Hungary, although represented in the con 
ference, instructed their delegate to take no part in 
the conference, in its discussion or votes. 

The delegate from the Netherlands declared: 


That Holland would not enter into a bi 
metallic union without the full and complete 
participation of England, is a part of the 
formal instructions furnished us by our gov 

France made the same declaration practically; in 
fact, absolutely the same declaration, that she would 
not participate in any agreement unless England 

The convention adjourned to meet again at some fu 
ture time, to be called again, some time within the then 
coming year, but it never reassembled. Afterwards, 
the Congress of the United States passed a bill provid 
ing for nine delegates to a monetary conference when 
ever we could find anybody who would confer with us ; 
and we were unable to find anyone who would join in 
a conference and who would talk with us about this 
question, and the law lapsed by limitation of time. 

The United States had become a capitalist nation 
producing surplus wealth; exporting it in the form of 
goods and investment funds, living on the interest that 
these investments produced, and thus saddling upon 
the backs of the undeveloped countries of the world the 
burden of taking care of those nations which were rich 
enough to bind the poorer peoples to them by the lend 
ing of money. 

The gold standard was a part of the harness that the 
eastern bankers had used to drive the western farmers. 
The fight was lost by the free silverites. The gold 
standard won the day and with that victory went the 
triumph of protection, the establishment of a trust- 
controlled government, the degradation of labor, and 
the assurance of plutocracy s power. 

The Government of the United States has allowed 
interested parties creditors and bankers to manipu 
late its credit and volume of money in such a way as 
to produce panics and, by this means, to plunder those 
who toil. These panics have come at stated intervals. 


M. Juglar (a French authority) has fully analyzed the 
three phases of American business life into prosperity, 
panic and liquidation, which three constitute them 
selves into a business cycle" which ordinarily occupies 
about ten years. These ten years may be apportioned 
roughly as follows: Prosperity, five to seven years; 
panics, a few months to a few years ; liquidation, three 
or four years. 

Here is a list, with dates, of all the panics in the 
United States during the last century, with the corre 
sponding dates for France and England : 

France England United States 

1804 1803 

1810 1810 

1813-14 1815 1814 

1818 1818 1818 

1825 1825 1826 

1830 1830 1829-31 

1837-39 1836-39 817-39 

1847 1847 1848 

1857 1857 1857 

1864 1864-66 1864 

1873 1873 

1882 1882 1884 

1889-90 1890-91 1890-91 

1894 1894 1893-94 

1897 1897 1897 

1903 1903 1903 

1907 1907 1907 

1913 1913 1913 

What evidence could be more conclusive of the utter 
failure of a system of economic life than these succes 
sive breakdowns in the machinery of production and 
exchange ? Yet here is the record upon which the pres 
ent economic system must stand condemned in the eyes 
of every thinking human being the record of disaster 
following disaster, with neither the inclination nor the 
ability, on the part of the masters of business life, to 


put a stop to these successive stoppages of economic 

The figures just cited show that, during the past 
century, panics have occurred in England and France 
at the same time that they occurred in the United 
States. These three countries are linked together by 
the "gold standard/ and their governments are capital 
istic governments administered by the banks and 
creditor classes for the benefit, not of the people, but 
for the benefit of the rich. Furthermore, all three 
countries have the same, or about the same, distribu 
tion of wealth. In each of these countries the workers 
are robbed of what they produce by the same process. 
The creditor classes, through their privileges, are able 
to manipulate the money and credit through panics, so 
as to produce, first, a rise in prices by expansion of 
money and credit, then a withdrawal of both, followed 
by a sudden drop in prices, and then liquidation. Or, in 
other words, a gathering in of all property produced by 
toil. With the liquidation, the cycle is completed and 
there follows a new cycle of ten years more, of pros 
perity, panic and liquidation. 

I have had an excellent opportunity to observe the 
effect of these successive economic disasters upon the 
producing class. I went to the Territory of Dakota in 
1869 and located at Sioux Falls, near the northwest 
corner of the State of Iowa. At that time, all of the 
land in Dakota was owned by the Government and was 
subject to entry under the Homestead and Pre-emption 
laws, and could only be secured by actual settlers. The 
result of the panic of 1873 caused very many of these 
homesteaders to commute their homesteads, because 
the price of farm products had declined below the cost 
of production. As a result, the movement for farm ten 
ancy was begun. The United States publishes no fig 
ures on farm tenure previous to 1880, but by that year 
the percentage of tenant farmers in the rich Middle 
West was for Illinois, 23.7 per cent; Michigan, 31.4 per 


cent; Iowa, 23.8 per cent; Missouri, 27.3 per cent; Ne 
braska, 18 per cent, and Kansas, 16.3 per cent. 

The next great disaster to the producing classes cul 
minated in the manufactured panic of 1893. Grover 
Cleveland had been elected President of the United 
States upon the tariff issue in 1892, and when he took 
office in 1893 he called a meeting of Congress for the 
purpose of repealing the purchasing clauses of the 
Sherman law of 1890, which provided that the Treas 
urer of the United States should purchase and coin not 
less than two million dollars worth of silver and not 
more than four and a half million dollars worth during 
each month, thus adding to the volume of circulating 
medium. The cutting-off of four and a half millions of 
silver by the repeal of the Sherman law purchasing 
clauses, with its consequent decline in the volume of 
money, proved disastrous. The prices of all farm prod 
ucts fell sharply, causing the ruin of the agricultural 
classes and a prolonged panic nearly as disastrous as 
that of 1873. 

The members of the House of Representatives, who 
believed in bimetallism, called a meeting a day or two 
before Congress was to assemble, and 201 members of 
the House declared that they were in favor of both gold 
and silver as money, because there was not gold enough 
in the world to furnish a circulating medium. Two 
weeks afterwards, when the vote was taken in the 
House of Representatives on the bill to completely de 
mocratize .silver by repealing the purchasing clause of 
the Sherman Act, one hundred of these members had 
been bought over, through patronage and money and 
party pressure, to the interests of the bankers, and 
thus the bill was passed. 

The panic of 1893, resulting from this act, which 
involved a contraction of the volume of money and a 
reduction in prices, again drove large numbers of 
people from the land and reduced agricultural produc 
tion below a remunerative point. As a result of this 
panic and the panic of 1873, the lands in Dakota, which 


had all been owned by the cultivators, passed into the 
hands of the mortgage companies, the banks, the cred 
itors, so that in the county where I reside Minnehaha 
County, South Dakota 52 per cent of the farms now 
are cultivated by tenants. Within my memory, every 
acre of land in that county belonged to the Govern 
ment. Both in the panic of 1873 and in that of 1893 
the results were the same. The owners and monopo 
lists of money used their monopoly power to squeeze 
the small producer and to enrich themselves. 

The panic of 1893 was followed by the discovery in 
South Africa of the richest gold deposit in the world 
and within the next few years these mines produced 
vast sums of gold to be used as money, and caused a 
rise in the price of everything that is the product of 
human toil. 

These were the two outstanding economic disasters 
that occurred during my connection with public affairs. 
Both arose from similar causes and both produced like 
results the concentration of wealth in the hands of 
the few ; the bankruptcy of the small business man and 
of the farmer; unemployment, distress and lowered 
wages for the worker ; crime, suicide and murder. 

The great deposits of gold which had been poured 
into the currency of the world by the discoveries in 
California in the early fifties endangered the mortgage- 
holding classes of all the capitalist nations. 

Chevalier, one of the most prominent financiers of 
Europe, published a book in which he contended that 
gold must be demonetized; that the continuous use of 
gold as money would work universal repudiation; that 
it was dishonest and wicked to pay debts in gold under 
such a flood as was coming from California and Austra 
lia. His voice was potent. Germany and Holland 
creditor nations closed their mints to gold and 
adopted the silver standard. Maclaren of England, 
representing the bondholders of the British Empire, 
made the same argument in the early fifties against 
the use of gold, which has since been used by gold 


standard contractionists for more than sixty years 
against the use of silver. In his argument in favor of 
the bondholders, Chevalier said : 

"Our neighbors on the Continent received 
the announcement of these remarkable discov 
eries in a different spirit. From the first they 
have considered them of the greatest impor 
tance and have expressed great solicitude for 
the maintenance of the standard value." 

Immediately that the fact of a great increase in the 
production of gold was established, the Government of 
Holland "a nation justly renowned," says M. Cheva 
lier, "for its foresight and probity," discarded gold 
from its currency. "They may," says the same author, 
"have been rather hasty in passing this law, but in a 
matter of this nature it is better to be in advance of 
events than to let them pass us." 

France appointed a monetary commission which con 
sidered the question of demonetizing gold for several 
years and, finally, reported that it was necessary to 
demonetize one or the other of the precious metals 
that the supply was violating contracts by depreciating 
money with which debts were paid. Up to this time 
the creditor classes in England, France and the United 
States had accepted bimetallism. The rush of Califor 
nia gold endangered their monopoly. The discovery of 
the Comstock lode threatened to deluge the world with 
silver, and Mr. Lindeman, Director of the United States 
Mint, reported in London that there were fifteen hun 
dred millions of silver in sight in one mine on the 

When gold became very abundant in the middle of 
the century, the creditor classes wanted to demonetize 
that metal in order to make money scarce. Then came 
the flood of silver, and they feared that more than gold. 

John Sherman undertook the duty of carrying into 
effect in the United States the demonetizing of silver. 
John J. Knox, Comptroller of the Currency, a crafty, 


scheming, money-making individual, got up a codifica 
tion of the mint laws. John Sherman introduced the 
bill, and continually talked about the silver dollar, the 
inscriptions on it, etc. But when the bill became a 
law it was found that there was no provision for a 
silver dollar in the bill, the trade dollar containing 120 
grains taking the place of the silver dollar, and thus 
silver was demonetized, and it was made easy for the 
creditor classes of the world to corner gold and thus 
to control money. 

How conscientiously this control over money has 
been exercised is indicated by the actions and utter 
ances of the bankers themselves. 

The American Colonies had been in the habit, for a 
number of years before the Revolution, of issuing what 
were then known as Colonial Treasury notes ; the notes 
were made receivable by the several provinces for 
taxes. These Colonial notes being adopted by all the 
Colonies led to an unexpected degree of prosperity, .so 
great that when Franklin was brought before the Par 
liament of Great Britain and questioned as to the cause 
of the wonderful prosperity growing up in the Colonies, 
he plainly stated that the cause was the convenience 
they found in exchanging their various forms of labor 
one with another by the paper money, which had been 
adopted: that this paper money was not only used in 
the payment of taxes, but in addition it had been de 
clared legal tender. After Franklin explained this to 
the British Government as the real cause of pros 
perity, they immediately passed laws forbidding the 
payment of taxes in that money. 

In 1862, the creditors of the United States, the Bank 
of England, sent the following circular to every bank 
in New York and New England : 

"Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war 
power, and chattel slavery destroyed. This, I 
and my European friends are in favor of, for 
slavery is but the owning of labor and carries 


with it the care for the laborer, while the 
European plan, led on by England, is for capi 
tal to control labor by controlling the wages. 
THE MONEY. The great debt that capital 
ists will see to it is made out of the war must 
be used as a means to control the volume of 
money. To accomplish this, the bonds must be 
used as a banking basis. We are now waiting 
for the Secretary of the Treasury to make the 
recommendation to Congress. It will not do to 
allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate 
as money any length of time, as we cannot 
control that." 

In 1872, the ring of bankers in New York sent the 
following circular to every bank in the United States : 

"Dear Sir: It is advisable to do all in your 
power to sustain .such prominent daily and 
weekly newspapers, especially the agricultural 
and religious press, as will oppose the issuing 
of greenback paper money, and that you also 
withhold patronage or favors from all appli 
cants who are not willing to oppose the Gov 
ernment issue of money. Let the Government 
issue the coin and the banks issue the paper 
money of the country, for then we can better 
protect each other. To repeal the law creat 
ing National Bank notes, or to restore to circu 
lation the Government issue of money, will be 
to provide the people with money, and will 
therefore seriously affect your individual 
profit as bankers and lenders. See your Con 
gressman at once, and engage him to support 
our interests that we may control legislation." 
The panic of 1893 was a bankers panic and in their 
interest and the ring of gambling bankers in New York 
sent out the following circular to every bank in the 
United States: 


"Dear Sir: The interests of national bank 
ers require immediately financial legislation 
by Congress. Silver, silver certificates and 
Treasury notes must be retired and National 
Bank notes upon a gold basis made the only 
money. This will require the authorization of 
from $500,000,000 to $1,000,000,000 of new 
bonds as a basis of circulation. You will at 
once retire one-third of your circulation and 
call in one-half of your loans. Be careful to 
make a money stringency felt among your 
patrons, especially among influential busi 
ness men. Advocate an extra session of 
Congress for the repeal of the purchasing 
clause of the Sherman law, and act with the 
other banks of your city in securing a large 
petition to Congress for its unconditional re 
peal, per accompanying form. Use personal 
influence with Congressmen and particularly 
let your wishes be known to your Senators. 
The future life of National Banks as fixed and 
-safe investments depends upon immediate ac 
tion, as there is an increasing sentiment in 
favor of Government legal tender notes and 
silver coinage. * 

Mr. Alexander is right about the strength of the 
American banking system. Under the Federal Reserve 
Act the vast power of the thirty thousand American 
banks is concentrated in the hands of a little club with 
headquarters in Wall Street. This club holds in its 
hands the power to make or to destroy any business 
man in the United States ; the power to make or wreck 
financial institutions and inaugurate panics ; the power 
to issue credit, and even money. The bankers at the 
center of the financial web are endowed with the power 
of government. 

The right to issue money is, as I have .said, funda 
mental. This right is exercised by the New York 


Bankers Club, thinly disguised as the Federal Reserve 
Board. On November 3, 1920, the amount of Federal 
Reserve notes outstanding was $3,568,713,000. 

What was the basis of this huge issue of paper 
money? Commercial paper! 

The member banks were permitted to lend money 
(or credit) to their patrons ; to take commercial paper in 
exchange for their loans ; to deposit this paper under the 
authority of the Board and to issue currency against 
it. This currency was again loaned out, the paper re- 
deposited, etc., so that the Federal Reserve Bank of 
New York was able to earn, by this pyramiding of 
credits, over 200 per cent in the frugal year of 1920, in 
a market where the rate of interest never ran over 8 
per cent on standard securities. 

Through their authority over money and credit, the 
bankers thus became the arbiters of the business des 
tiny of the United States. No one elected them. No 
one can recall them. There is no way in which they 
can be made the object of public approval or disap 
proval. They are as far above public responsibility as 
was William Hohenzollern in Germany before 1914. 
Self-elected dictators of American life, they make and 
unmake; they wreck and rule. They are the heart of 
business America; the center of the exploiting system 
that sits astride the necks of the people. 

The United States emerged from the Great War with 
the best credit of any of the larger nations. Its wealth 
was the greatest; its income the largest, and its bank 
assets and resources exceeded those of any other coun 
try; but this very economic position, centered as it is 
in the hands of bankers, will be used by them to exploit 
the peoples of Latin America and Asia as they have, 
during recent years, exploited the people of the United 
States. Exploitation is the profession of the banker, 
and those in charge of the American banking institu 
tions have the greatest exploiting opportunity that has 
ever come to the bankers in any of the modern nations. 

The banks are again issuing circulars and in April 


or May, 1920, the order went out from New York, from 
this club which is our government, to all the Reserve 
Banks throughout the United States, to call their loans 
and to refuse credit on all the products of human toil 
not controlled by the combinations. The result has 
been, of course, the reduction in the price of everything 
that is produced in the way of food and raw material, 
and to a very low point, causing the ultimate ruin of 
all those who cultivate the soil. And it was not because 
there was not plenty of money, for there is more money 
.several times over in circulation in the United States 
than ever before in our history. We have secured most 
of the gold of Europe, and I know of my own knowledge 
positively that these bankers are financing the bank 
rupt nations of Europe. For instance, they loaned 
France a hundred millions a few months ago, and 
within the last six months they have loaned Norway 
twenty millions. And so another panic is in progress. 

The banking system of this country is so organized 
and constituted as to take from the producer the result 
of his effort; purposely so organized; organized with 
the intention of controlling the volume of money ; con 
tracting and expanding credit so as to produce a panic, 
or apparent prosperity, as suits the purpose of its or 
ganizers and managers. 

This system of banking was the invention of Lord 
Overstone, with the assistance of the acute minds of 
the Rothschild bankers of Europe, and was so con 
structed as to enhance the importance of capital and 
overshadow the importance of toil. The system is one 
based upon a small volume of legal tender money, and 
the limit of this volume they would make as small as 
possible, in order that they may control it absolutely. 
Expansion by the issue of credit, not legal tender; con 
traction by the withdrawal of credit. Expansion that 
they may sell the property of the producers, which 
they have taken in with the last contraction, and then 
contract again in order to wreck the enterprising and 
once more reap the harvest of their efforts. This is the 


banking system of Great Britain, and the banking sys 
tem of every gold standard country in the world today. 
It is the banking system of the United States. This 
is the system the Republican party is pledged to 
strengthen and perpetuate. There is no hope of relief 
for the people of this agricultural country in any pos 
sible thing the Republican party can or will do. In 
1873, fearing that the volume of metallic money would 
become too large, these manipulators of panics, these 
gatherers of the products of other people s toil, set 
about to secure the demonetization of silver and make 
all their contracts payable in gold. The result has 
been, as the thinking ones of every nation agree, that 
in every gold standard country on the globe, agricul 
tural prices have fallen steadily until we have reached 
a point where the cost of production is denied the pro 
ducer. The present Federal Reserve law adopted by 
the United States is but a culmination of all the infa 
mous banking systems ever invented by any age or 
people, and it has already produced the practical en 
slavement of the people of the United States. 

Banking and the issue of money and credit are the 
duties of the sovereign and should be performed by the 
Government for service and not for profit, and for the 
equal good of the whole population. Section 8, Para 
graph 5 of the Constitution of the United States says : 

1 Congress shall have power to coin money, 
regulate the value thereof and of foreign 
coins. Congress is not by the Constitution au 
thorized to delegate the power to any person 
or corporation." 

The functions of money are created by law and are 
legal tender, a measure of value and, as a result, a me 
dium of exchange, and the value of the unit of money 
depends upon the law of supply and demand, and the 
volume of money should be regulated so as to maintain 
a steady range of prices, and this can be done by the 
use of index number. No substance should be used as 


money that has any value besides its money value. 

And, above all, no metal should be used that has a 
commodity value, as the volume of money is liable to 
be affected by hoarding and by being shipped away to 
other countries, and by being consumed in the arts. 
In fact, money should never be international. It is the 
most important tool that a nation can possess for the 
transaction of its business, and it is more idiotic to ship 
it out of the country to pay balances than it would be 
for a farmer to .ship his implements, plows and reaper 
away and sell them for seed ; or a manufacturer to strip 
his factory of its machines and sell them for raw 



Next, perhaps, to the money system, the tariff is the 
handiest weapon that the American business interests 
have at their disposal. I believe in a tariff, provided it 
is accompanied by a free and untrammeled competitive 
system of production. The purpose of such a tariff 
would be to give temporary assistance to such indus 
tries as are necessary to the sound economic life of a 
country. Once the competitive system is destroyed, 
however, the tariff falls to the ground, becomes merely 
an instrument in the hands of the Government for the 
plundering of the people through the agency of their 
monopolistic combinations. Under such circumstances 
a tariff cannot be justified unless a man is in favor 
of stealing. 

The tariff bills that I .saw enacted, two by Republican 
Congresses and one by a Democratic Congress, aimed to 
distribute favors and special privileges to those indus 
tries that were strong enough to demand them and to 
enforce their demands. The Wilson Bill, passed by a 
Democratic Congress, provided almost as much protec 
tion as the McKinley and Dingley bills, passed by the 
Republicans. The commodities on the free list were 
changed, but the principle of protection was accepted 
by both great parties. Both were serving business and 
business demanded protection. 

It was to meet this situation that I urged (May 29, 
1894) a tariff commission with power to examine the 
books of every protected industry in order to ascertain 
the cost of producing these goods in the United States ; 
to compare this cost with the cost of producing them 
abroad, and thus to determine a fair rate of protection 
for the home industries. I urged at that time that the 
tariff commission be established as a permanent bureau 
in order to make protection a science. The business 
interests, who were clamoring for protection, did not 
wish it to be a science. On the contrary, they looked 
upon it as a sinecure. 


I had a further reason for believing in a protective 
tariff as a means of preventing nations which produced 
similar lines of goods from trading with one another. 

Commerce is a tax on industry. The act of produc 
ing wealth has already been finished when commerce 
begins. A nation should therefore trade only with na 
tions .so situated as to soil and climate that their prod 
ucts are different, and are naturally necessary to 
comfort and happiness. The United States should, 
therefore, trade chiefly, not with Europe, but with the 
countries of the tropics, and our industries should be so 
adjusted that our surplus would pay for those things 
which we cannot produce ; and this would be our condi 
tion today if we produced everything to which our soil 
and climate are adapted. 

We should insist that the man who produces the 
things we can produce shall live here, if he wants us to 
buy them ; shall help support our Government ; shall be 
a taxpayer and a defender of our institutions; we 
should have the art and the artisan as well as the 
article, and thus be able to reproduce it. In this way, 
by varied industry alone, can we bring out all that is 
in our people, every trait of character, every variety of 
talent, and can produce an unmatched race of men and 
an unparalleled civilization. 

The United States is endowed by nature with the 
greatest natural resources of any equal area of the 
earth s surface. We have the most intelligent, free, 
vigorous and active people. Our wealth and prosperity 
depend upon the amount we draw from nature s inex 
haustible storehouse and that, in turn, depends upon 
the industry, frugality and sobriety of the living gen 

Little is left over from one age to another; the 
nearer we can bring consumer and producer together, 
the smaller the friction and the less the wear and tear 
and the expense of energy in making the exchange, and 
the greater the amount of production. It makes no 
difference what price we pay each other for our prod- 


nets; if our laws are just there will be an equal and 
fair distribution of wealth, and, as a result, universal 
happiness. The theory of free trade is beautiful, and 
if all the people on earth had an equal chance, were all 
equally intelligent, moral and industrious, and lived to 
gether under the same just laws, free trade might be 
universally enacted with profit to all. 

But these conditions do not exist. Therefore, if we 
enact free trade our great natural resources and our 
accumulated wealth would be dissipated throughout the 
earth, resulting in a slight rise in the scale of living 
and civilization of all mankind and a great fall in the 
.scale of living and civilization of our own people. An 
old illustration is apt. If you connect two ponds of 
water, one large and at a low level, the other small and 
at a high level, they will both reach the same level 
the large one rising a little and the small one falling 
very much. So it would be with us were we to adopt free 
trade ; for from it results the corollary that our people 
must do whatever they can do and grow whatever they 
can produce in competition with all the rest of the 

What can we economically produce in competition 
with the starving millions of Asia or the paupers of 
Europe? England is trying the experiment; with what 
result ? Great aggregations of wealth ; numerous mil 
lionaires living in incredible extravagance ; but a million 
of her people on an average are paupers always 
twenty-eight out of each one thousand of her popula 
tion. One person out of every twelve needs relief to 
keep from starvation ; one-half of the people of England 
who reach the age of sixty are or have been paupers. 
Is this a pleasant picture an example fit to follow? 
India, with the oldest civilization on the globe, has 
reached a little worse state than England. 

India suffers from a widespread famine every four or 
five years; eighty out of every one hundred of her 
people never have enough to eat; sixteen out of every 
one hundred have barely enough to eat; four out of 


every one hundred live in idleness and luxury, and 
these are the castes which separate the people so that 
there is no chance to rise and no future but death. 

Free trade is not a panacea, and not even a probable 
remedy ; and while a tariff will enrich us as a nation it 
will not cause a just distribution of wealth among our 
own people unless we have just laws which confer 
equal opportunities. 

Pursuant to this theory, I presented in the Senate 
on June 4, 1897, during the famous debate on the Ding- 
ley Tariff, an argument in favor of a duty on nickel 
(Volume 30, page 1500) to illustrate the point I was 

"The great issues that are before the people of the 
United States today reach further than a controversy 
over the amount of tariff on any item in the pending 
bill. They are the great questions which determine 
whether we will march on in the course of freedom and 
liberty and maintain our republic, or whether we will 
become a plutocracy not a plutocracy of natural per 
sons, but a plutocracy of artificial persons ; whether we 
will continue to be what in fact we are today a gov 
ernment of the corporations, for the corporations and 
by the corporations, or whether we will go back to what 
we were in the past a government of, for, and by the 

"The provision of the Senate Committee in regard 
to nickel is equivalent to no duty at all. The Senate 
Committee has provided as to nickel a duty of six cents 
per pound, and then has inserted in brackets "except 
nickel matte." Of course, under that provision, all of 
the nickel would come in, for nickel matte is simply the 
nickel extracted from the ore, with such other metals 
as accompany it in the ore. Then they can be sepa 
rated in this country. It would all come in free, nickel 
matte being free. There it is absolute free trade. That 
provision is a good deal like a good many other pro 
visions in the bill obscure ; not intended to deceive, but 
having that effect. We can produce all the nickel used 


in this country, and yet what is the history of this in 
dustry? There are nickel mines in Missouri, Pennsyl 
vania, Arkansas, Washington, North Carolina, Colo 
rado, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Nevada and 
South Dakota." 

Mr. QUAY : "The mines in Pennsylvania have been 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "The Senator from Pennsylva 
nia says that the mines in Pennsylvania have been 
abandoned. So they have been in every one of the 
states I have named. Pennsylvania is no exception. So 
would the Pennsylvania mills be abandoned if you had 
free trade. Open your doors to the low-paid labor of 
Asia, compensated in silver, and your mills will be 
abandoned ; the doors will be closed. There is no ques 
tion about it. 

"Let us see what is the history of nickel. We pro 
duced in the United States in 1885, 275,000 pounds of 
nickel: in 1886, 214,000 pounds; in 1887, 205,000 
pounds; in 1889, 252,000 pounds; in 1890, 223,000 
pounds; in 1891, 118,000 pounds; in 1892, 92,000 
pounds; in 1893, 49,000 pounds; in 1894, 9,000 pounds. 
I have not the figures for 1896, but I understand the 
production went on declining, one mine after another 
closing throughout the country. 

"When they are all closed, you will pay twice what 
you now have to pay for nickel. W T hat is the occasion 
of the decline in the industry ? A deposit of nickel was 
discovered in Canada which is so rich in nickel and 
copper that the copper pays the cost of production. 
Therefore, the nickel costs nothing. They can put the 
price at any figure they choose. The moment they have 
destroyed the industry in this country you will pay 
two prices for your nickel again, and no one will dare to 
open the mines of the United States in view of this 
known competition, because they know the moment 
they open the mines and invest their money in the in 
dustry the Canadians can come in and put down the 


price so as to wreck their enterprise and make them 
lose their capital. 

"What we want, then, is a duty upon nickel suffi 
ciently large ,so that it can be produced in this country 
constantly and so that we shall not be in the hands of 
a foreign producer, and so that with our high-pricec. 
labor we can continue the production. It will not shut 
out the Canadian nickel, because it can come to this 
market anyway, no matter what the duty is. Their 
nickel costs nothing. We have mines in Oregon, for 
instance, the ore from which has taken the premium, 
but it is not accompanied with copper in sufficient 
quantity so that the copper will pay for mining both, 
Yet men are ready today to go ahead, but not under 
the provisions of this bill, and put up works costing 
$150,000 to mine nickel in Oregon and Washington, 
provided a sufficient duty is placed upon the article so 
that they can mine it and be safe from absolute ruin by 
Canadian competition. I hold that there is justice ir 
their claim. 

"We can mine nickel profitably in Dakota, but we; 
cannot do it we cannot get capital to do it if we, 
know that at our door is a deposit which can put the 
price where it will absolutely destroy all profit and not 
even permit us to make enough to pay the cost of pro 
duction. I hold it is good policy to place a duty upon 
nickel sufficient so that we can keep our mines open. 
Then we will always keep the price at a reasonable 
figure. Then, if the duty is enough so that it will 
assure the working of the American mines, we will not 
be at the mercy of the foreigners to double the price 
when our mines are closed. I hold that it is good, patri 
otic policy again to open the mines which produced al 
most enough nickel to .supply our wants in the past, 
and do it by a duty of fifteen cents a pound upon nickel, 
and not admit nickel matte free." 

My argument carried no weight. The tariff was not 
based on any theory, nor did it appeal to science. 
Instead, it was an agglomeration of concessions to spe- 


cial interests. When this became clear to me, I adopted 
another method of approach to the problem. These 
were the years when the feeling against "trusts" was 
running high. I, therefore, decided to relate the two 
problems by introducing an amendment to the tariff 
bill (55th Cong., 1st Session, p. 1893), providing that 
trust-controlled products should be admitted free of 

In the end, the amendment was rejected, but it occa 
sioned a lively debate, of which I reproduce a part: 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "Up to the last national conven 
tion the amendment which I have offered was in strict 
accord with the platform, the principles, and the poli 
cies of the Republican party. But the last convention 
of the Republican party at St. Louis left that plank 
out of their platform. Previous to that time the Re 
publican party had declared for bi-metallism. Bi-metal 
lism is dangerous to trusts, because trusts do not thrive 
on rising prices, but flourish when prices decline. There 
fore, if the trusts were to be left out, and bi-metallism 
left out, everything would be in absolute harmony. 
The platform accorded apparently with the policies of 
the convention. If this was accidental, if this provi 
sion was left out of the platform by an oversight, if 
it was not left out because the trusts had gained pos 
session of the convention, and did not desire to abuse 
each other, then, of course, that will be illustrated by 
the vote today. 

"In the platform of 1888 the Republican party de 
clared : 

"We declare our opposition to all combina 
tions of capital, organized in trusts or other 
wise, to control arbitrarily the condition of 
trade among our citizens ; and we recommend 
to Congress and the State legislatures, in their 
respective jurisdictions, such legislation as 
will prevent the execution of all schemes to 
oppress the people by undue charges on their 


supplies, or by unjust rates for the trans 
portation of their products to market. We ap 
prove the legislation by Congress to prevent 
alike burdens and unfair discriminations be 
tween the states. 

"And that is good Republican doctrine. It was at 
that time, at the next convention, in 1892, the Repub 
lican party declared: 

"We reaffirm our opposition, declared in the 
Republican platform of 1888, to all combina 
tions of capital organized in trusts or other 
wise to control arbitrarily the condition of 
trade among our citizens. We heartily en 
dorse the action already taken upon this sub 
ject and ask for such further legislation as 
may be required to remedy any defects in 
existing laws and to render their enforcement 
more complete and effective. 

"Today we have a chance to carry out the plank in 
that platform and enact those necessary laws, to enact 
one of those protective provisions to carry out this plat 
form by declaring that every article controlled by a 
trust or by a combination to limit production or in 
crease the price shall be subject to the competition of 
the world, unless the trust will dissolve. The punish 
ment is, therefore, automatic. The trust can decide 
whether it will go out of existence or contest the rich 
American market with the manufacturers of other 

"It is absolutely and strictly in accordance with the 
fundamental principles of protection as laid down by 
the Republican party since it came into existence, for 
the Republican doctrine was that by protection we re 
duce the price of the article to the consumer; that by 
protection we build up competition at home; that com 
petition lowers the price and does justice to the con 
sumer. But, Mr. President, when you allow the exis- 


tence of a trust to control that price and then fix a 
tariff by which they can raise the price to the limit of 
the tariff, you have overturned every principle of 
protection. You cannot justify this bill without the 
amendment. . . ." 

Mr. ALLISON: "I asked the Senator from South 
Dakota, when he introduced the amendment, to allow 
it to be passed over, in order that it might come in at 
its proper place and be more maturely considered. I 
am strengthened in this view by the criticisms that 
have already been made upon the amendment. It deals 
with a very important subject, and deals with it in a 
way that may be effective; or, instead of working jus 
tice, it may work injustice. It goes upon the assump 
tion that the way to cure this evil is by punishing the 
people who are engaged in trusts by placing all the 
articles manufactured in the country of a like character 
upon the free list. It assumes also that the tariff it 
self is the author of the trust. 

"I remember very well, as a good many Senators on 
this floor remember, that we had a long debate on the 
question of dealing with trusts and the remedies some 
six or seven years ago. The venerable Senator from 
Ohio, now Secretary of State, introduced a bill upon 
that subject. It was referred, I think, to the Commit 
tee on Agriculture at first, and reported from that com 
mittee. That may not have been the committee. My 
recollection is not very distinct upon that subject. It 
was reported back and debated here for a week or two. 
Then it was referred to the Judiciary Committee and 
was considered for some weeks by that committee, and 
then reported back here and debated, and finally passed. 

"I submit to the Senate that a matter which may do 
injustice, which may be an ineffectual remedy, which 
may only do partially what is sought to be done, should 
have more mature consideration than can be given to it 
in debate here from day to day upon the subject. So I 
appeal again to the Senator from South Dakota to allow 
the amendment to be passed over for the time being 


until we have finished these schedules, and then rein- 
troduce it when Senators on both sides of the chamber 
shall have an opportunity to present modifications 01 
amendments to it. If the Senator will do that I think 
it will facilitate our work on the tariff bill." 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "I wish to make my reply al 
some length. Mr. President, I will say in answer to tht 
question of the Senator from Iowa that I have no pride 
with regard to the form of this amendment. All ] 
desire is to accomplish the purpose which is clearly 
indicated by the amendment. Neither have I any pride- 
in its being my amendment. Let us discuss and point 
out what defects, if any, there are in the amendment. 
I think the subject is of sufficient importance for the 
Senate to consider it until we perfect the amendment. 
Where it is attacked in good faith, I believe the Senator 
attacking it should offer an amendment to the amend 
ment which will cure the defect. Of course, I under 
stand that when a Senator wishes to find an excuse for 
going against the amendment he can find it, and he can 
find it in technical quibbles. Capable and able lawyers 
can readily raise plenty of those, . . . We have asserted 
in all our arguments to the American people that the 
tariff produces competition, and competition reduces 
prices. On every .stump we have told the people how 
an imported article, Fuller s Earth, for instance, was 
worth from nineteen to thirty-two dollars a ton, but 
we discovered it in this country and began its produc 
tion under a very small duty, when the price fell to 
twelve dollars a ton in a year and a half. It was the 
same with nails. It seems to me that if we wish to 
perpetuate the principles of protection and defend this 
bill, we must carry out that policy which we have so 
often advocated and give to the American consumer a 
competitive market. That is all I desire. Cannot we 
perfect an amendment, then, that will accomplish that 

"But, Mr President, I have my doubts about some 
Senators wanting to do this. I think it has been devel- 


oped in this debate, and in the votes that have been 
taken, that some Senators do not want to do this. They 
do not want to give to the people of this country a com 
petitive market. . . . 

"Mr. President, in regard to this amendment, I have 
this to say : I am perfectly willing it shall go over until 
tomorrow, so that we may discuss and perfect it. The 
American people are against the trust. They are not 
willing to allow any Senator in this body to vote 
against this amendment simply because its phraseology 
does not suit him. Neither are Senators going to crawl 
out by a quibble that amendment will not accomplish 
the object it has in view. It is the duty of any Senator 
who objects to the amendment to perfect my amend 
ment, and I shall be glad to accept such an amend 

Later in the same debate Senator Platt of Connecti 
cut had a discussion over the duty on Fuller s Earth. 
During the discussion, Senator Platt accused me of 
not being a protectionist "except in spots." To this 
charge I replied (Conor. Record, 55th Cong., 1st Sess., 
p. 2041, June 26, 1897) : 

"Further, Mr. President, I do not know that I care to 
disclaim or admit the charge as to whether I am a pro 
tectionist or not. I believe that the nation should do 
its own work. I believe that a varied industry is neces- 
sary to the development of the best traits of character 
and the highest civilization among any people. I be 
lieve that it is the nation s duty to encourage that 
varied industry which w r ill enable every talent among 
its people to be developed to its fullest extent. 

"Because I refused to vote for 185 per cent duty on 
woolen goods, the Senator from Connecticut stands up 
here to say that I am a protectionist only in spots. Be 
cause I refused to vote for 700 per cent duty on the 
lower grades of silk, used by the poor people of this 
country, the Senator from Connecticut says I am a 
protectionist only in spots. 

"Well, if to be a protectionist all over a man must 


vote for 700 per cent duty on the cheaper articles and 
for 10 per cent on the higher-priced articles that are 
used by the rich, I am only a protectionist in spots. If 
to be a protectionist I must vote for an extra duty on 
sugar purely and absolutely in the interest of the most 
corrupt and demoralizing trust ever organized in this 
country, at the behest and dictation of a political 
caucus, then I am a protectionist only in spots. If I 
must vote for every trust, if I must vote for every com 
bination, vote special privileges to the few, high rates 
of duty, differential duty, in order that they may be 
encouraged in their raids upon the people of this coun 
try, then, Mr. President, I am not a protectionist all 

"Is the Republican party a protection party? Why, 
Mr. President, the issue of protection has departed 
from our politics. When New England made her trade 
with the cotton Democrats of the South for the purpose 
of putting a duty on cotton, thinking to break up the 
Solid South, she abandoned the only principle, the only 
issue, that gave the party character, and it has left 
you nothing with which to fight the next campaign. 
All the Republican party stands for today, inasmuch as 
protection is no longer an issue and the South is broken 
up, is as the champion of the trusts and the gold stand 
ard, as the special representative of the classes against 
the masses." 

Thus I had tried three lines of attack. First, I had 
tried to have a tariff commission to determine tariff 
schedules on a scientific basis. Second, I had tried to 
show to what extent particular schedules were work 
ing hardship. Third, I had attempted to rationalize 
the tariff by denying protection to trusts. I failed 
along all three lines, and I failed because the tariff was 
not a scientific means of regulating industry, in the 
interest of public welfare, but a cleverly disguised 
method used by certain industrial freebooters to in 
crease their profits. 

During the twelve years that I was a member of the 


Senate of the United States no effort was ever made to 
pass a tariff bill in the interests of the people of the 
United States ; they were entirely left out of consider 
ation. Two-thirds of the Senate were always lawyers 
and they were simply interested in passing a tariff bill 
that would enrich their clients and at the same time 
humbug the American people into the belief that it 
was being done in their interest. 

Allison of Iowa was from an agricultural state, and 
you would have supposed that he would have looked 
after the interests of the people of Iowa ; but he never 
did. He was in the Senate as the representative of the 
transportation, the financial and industrial combina 
tions. Platt of Connecticut, another lawyer, was in the 
same category. The committees were all packed in the 
interests of business, and a majority of each committee 
that had charge of the tariff or any other branch of 
legislation were men (attorneys, as a rule) who were 
there to look after the exploiters of the people of the 
United States. I also state without hesitation or quali 
fication that no trust legislation was ever considered 
by any committee in the Senate except with a view to 
allowing the trusts to prosper and flourish and, at the 
.same time, so word the law as to humbug and deceive 
the American people. That the leaders were in the 
employ of the great industrial combinations and that 
they exercised considerable cunning in their practices 
to bring about this result. The tariff and the trusts 
always received the fostering care of the lawyers of 
the Senate and House and were never framed or in 
tended to be framed to protect the interests of the 
people of the United States. 



I was in the Senate when the Sherman Anti-Trust 
Law was passed in 1890. I was there representing a 
state that was rabidly opposed to trusts in theory and 
trusts in practice. For twelve years I worked and voted 
to drive the trusts out of American politics, and yet, as 
if in ironical comment on the futility of my efforts, the 
Steel Trust greatest of them all was organized dur 
ing my last year in the Senate (1901). 

The people of South Dakota lived on the land and 
still believed in the necessity for competition. They 
had grown up under the conviction that our civilization 
is founded upon the theory of evolution, upon the doc 
trine of the survival of the fittest, upon the law of 
competition. The result of this theory in the past was 
feudalism, or the supremacy of brute strength and 
physical courage, and its resulting paternalism. But 
feudalism, by the operation of the law of competition 
and evolution, destroyed itself by the subjugation of 
the weaker by the stronger and the creation of mon 
archical forms of government in its place. 

My history had taught me these facts. Coming 
from a state that was still under the control of farm 
ers, small shop-keepers and professional men, I believed 
that this theory of competitive life held out the sound 
est answer to the many public questions then confront 
ing the country. Despite all my efforts, I witnessed 
the abandonment of the old theory and the adoption of 
a new practice the practice of trust organization. 
Competition, under this theory, ceased to be the life of 
trade, and became an irksome form of activity that 
should be dispensed with at the earliest convenient 

We, the American people, have abandoned the doc 
trine we often repeated and so much believed, that 
competition is the life of trade, and have adopted the 
doctrine that competition destroys trade. The practice 
of this new economic theory calls for the organization 


of trusts and combinations to restrict production, to 
maintain and increase prices, until practically all of the 
important articles manufactured in the country are 
produced by combinations and trusts. Thus the funda 
mental principle of the early American civilization is 
overturned, and those who do not combine the 
farmer, the individual proprietor, the professional man 
and the toilers on the land are at the mercy of those 
who do combine. 

The rapid growth of trusts in the United States 
began with demonetization of silver, and the formation 
of trusts was the means adopted by some of the most 
far-seeing and .shrewdest men, having control and di 
rection of capital invested in manufacturing and trans 
portation, to avert losses to themselves by reason of 
falling prices, which lead to overproduction and under 
consumption. They realized that the first effect of a 
decline in prices is to stimulate production, because the 
producers hope to make up the difference in price by 
larger sales at less expense. They also foresaw what 
the average producer fails to see, that when the decline 
of prices is general the purchasing power is less in the 
whole community, and therefore an increased produc 
tion can find no market at any price, so that there ex 
ists at the same time an overproduction of things 
which are most needed and an underconsumption of 
these very things, because of the inability to purchase 

The organizers of the trusts did not go into the 
causes of falling prices. In most cases they knew noth 
ing about the natural effects of throwing the entire 
burden upon one metal constituting the basis of the 
money of the world, which had formerly rested upon 
both gold and silver. So they made the common error 
of mistaking effect for cause, and attributed the decline 
in prices to overproduction. Therefore they combined 
and formed trusts to restrict production and keep up 
prices. The effect of the successful operations of trusts 
is to compel higher prices to be paid for the finished 


product, or for transportation, while they do not check 
the decline in the value of raw material nor in the rates 
of wages, nor do their managers wish to do so. 

I do not desire to be understood as charging that the 
trusts are able to withstand the general fall of prices. 
The ability of the consumer to pay fixes the limit be 
yond which prices cannot be forced, and that is the 
only limit upon the powers of a trust to regulate prices 
when the combination of domestic producers is ,so per 
fect as to defy competition at home and the tariff duty 
upon the imported article excludes the competition in 
our markets of foreign producers. 

Many people, during the nineties, insisted that there 
were no trusts. Today there are persons who believe 
that the trusts have been "busted" by our bluff and 
scholarly chief executives. The trusts were growing 
into positions of power in the late nineties; they re 
ceived an immense impetus through the economic and 
political events surrounding the Spanish-American 
War. The first fifteen years of the new century has 
witnessed a rounding out of the trusts and an expan 
sion into, wider fields of activity. 

My particular attention was attracted to the Sugar 
Trust because I had come into such intimate contact 
with its workings in connection with my fight over the 
annexation of Hawaii. 

Prior to August, 1887, there was life and free com 
petition in all branches of the sugar trade. The pro 
ducers of raw sugars all over the world sought in the 
ports of the United States a market in which numerous 
strong buyers were always ready to take their offer 
ings at a price varying with the supply and demand. 
There was the same healthy competition among the 
sugar refiners as among the producers and importers 
of raw sugar. This was manifested by constant efforts 
to improve the product and to lessei tie cost of refining 
by the introduction of better processes. 

The distribution of the raw and refined sugar to the 
consumer through the usual trade channels from the 


importers and the refiner by way of the jobber, the 
wholesale grocer, and the retail grocer to the family 
was also untrammeled. Each bought where he could 
purchase to the best advantage and sold upon terms 
agreed upon between him and the buyer, and not dic 
tated by any third party. 

But in 1887 the enormous profits amassed by the 
Standard Oil Trust suggested to a few of the leading 
refiners the possibility of controlling the sugar trade 
in the same way. It was then claimed for the first 
time that the individual refineries through competition 
were unable to make sufficient money to continue in 

This seems a little strange in view of the fact that 
most of the refiners who had the misfortune to die or 
had retired from business before that time are known 
to have left or still possess large fortunes. Those mil- 
Ions, however, no doubt seemed insignificant in com 
parison to the potentialities of wealth offered by the 
adoption of trust methods. 

So the sugar trust was formed in the fall of 1887 by 
a combination between twenty-one corporations, some 
of which were formed out of existing unincorporated 
firms for the express purpose of entering the trust, 
which was called the Sugar Refineries Company. 

One of the first acts of the new trust was to close up 
the North River Sugar Refinery. This led to an action 
by the attorney-general of New York in behalf of the 
people for the forfeiture of the charter of the company, 
at the end of which the Court of Appeals declared the 
trust illegal, and the charter of the North River Com 
pany was forfeited. The trust was thereby compelled 
to abandon its organization and reorganize under the 
laws of New Jersey as the American Sugar Refining 
Company, a single corporation, in which were combined 
all the parties to the original trust. 

While my amendment to the tariff act, providing 
that trust-made products should be admitted free of 
duty, was under consideration in the Senate, Senator 


Sewell of New Jersey entered the debate with a re 
markable question. Said he (55th Cong., 1st Session, 
p. 1740) : 

Mr. SEWELL: "How does the Senator know that 
there is a sugar trust? The American Sugar Refining 
Company is a corporation of my state, with a very 
large capital and doing a large business. It is not in a 
trust with anybody, as I understand it. They surren 
dered everything of that kind three or four years ago." 

Mr. PETTIGREW : "Mr. President, that is a strange 
question and a remarkable proposition. The American 
Sugar Refining Company was formerly a combination 
of twenty-one refineries. They closed the North River 
Refinery. The courts of New York declared that com 
bination to be a trust. Then these same people formed 
a corporation under the laws of New Jersey. 

"I notice that almost every rotten corporation in this 
country is organized under the laws of New Jersey. I 
do not knew whether the laws need fixing or not ; but 
something is the matter. At any rate, all such corpo 
rations go there whenever they want to get up a combi 
nation to get away with somebody and to be sure that 
they will not be troubled. They formed a combination 
there of all these refineries, and then they proceeded 
to close refineries, raised the price to the limit of the 
tariff, and took from the people of this country untold 
millions. Under this amendment any combination or 
corporation for this purpose, to control production and 
increase the price, is a trust, and therefore the Ameri 
can Sugar Refining Company is a trust, and the courts 
can so decide. 

"What is more, Mr. President, the president of the 
American Sugar Refining Company testified that they 
controlled the price of sugar I read his testimony 
yesterday that they fixed the price for their custom 
ers, and that they fixed it for everybody else. I also 
showed yesterday that the American Sugar Refining 
Company controlled every refinery in this country but 
four, and then I showed by the testimony of a St. Louis 


grocer that they controlled those four ; for when this St. 
Louis grocer refused to sign a contract by which he was 
to bind himself to buy no other than sugar made by the 
trust at a price fixed by them when he refused to sign 
that contract to take their refined sugar on commission 
they refused to sell any sugar at all; and when he 
applied to the four independent refineries, he could not 
buy a pound of sugar from them. So that, after all, 
the combination embraces not only all the refineries in 
the trust, but all the others." 

After we passed the McKinley law, which was par 
ticularly favorable to the trust, Mr. Havemeyer was 
called before the Senatorial investigating committee, 
and he gave this testimony : 

Mr. HAVEMEYER: "We undertake to control the 
price of refined sugar in the United States. That must 
be distinctly understood." 

Senator ALLEN : "And the price of refined sugar in 
the United States is higher to the American people in 
consequence of the existence of the American Sugar 
Refining Company than it would be if the different 
companies in your organization were distinct and inde 
pendent companies?" 

Mr. HAVEMEYER : "For a short time it is. 

Senator ALLEN : "And what difference does it make 
for the consumers in this country in a year in your 

Mr. HAVEMEYER: "It has been in three years 
past three-eighths of a cent more on every pound they 
ate, as against doing business at a loss." 

In other words, the fact that they were in a trust 
and that they controlled the price, according to his own 
statement, added three-eighths of a cent to every 
pound of sugar consumed in this country. 

Senator ALLEN: "And that would be about how 
much in round numbers ?" 

Mr. HAVEMEYER : "It is a large sum in the aggre 

Senator ALLEN: "How many millions?" 


Mr. HAVEMEYER: "I should say it was close to 
$25,000,000 in three years." 

How did I know there is a trust in sugar? It has 
been told to everybody, until there is not a boy six 
years old who can read and write who does not know 
there is a sugar trust. 

Senator ALLEN : "And you intend to keep your hold 
upon the American people as long as you can?" 

Mr. HAVEMEYER: "As long as the McKinley bill 
is there we will exact that profit." 

"We will exact that profit. Is there competition ? Is 
there any show for competition? They say they fix 
the price and that they are going to continue to do it 
so long as you keep the duty on; and yet the Senator 
wants to know how I know there is a sugar trust. It 
would be astonishing if I did not know it." 

That discussion took place at a time (1897) when it 
was still possible to feign surprise at the mention of 
"trusts" in the United States. After 1901, when the 
Steel Trust was organized, the matter was decided for 
good. After that everybody recognized the fact that 
there were trusts ; that these trusts were managed by 
corporations; that the object of their management and 
manipulation was to increase the profits and the power 
in the hands of the business interests. 

During the twelve years that I was a member of the 
United States Senate Congress did nothing effective for 
the control of the trusts. The Anti-Trust Act was 
passed in 1890, but no effective means were ever pro 
vided for its enforcement. The act of 1890 was passed 
by outraged farmers as a protest against the exploita 
tion under which they were suffering. By the time I 
introduced my amendment to the Tariff Act in 1897, it 
was taken for granted that combinations of capital 
should exist, and that these combinations should get 
what they could. 

A careful review of all legislation from the passage 
of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law in 1890 to the present 
time convinces me that it was the consistent policy of 


Congress to protect rather than to destroy the trusts 
and to build up and foster the trusts and thus create 
these great combinations to exploit the American 
people. Before I left the Senate they were talking 
about them as "benevolent institutions" and today they 
regard them as one of the bulwarks of our civilization. 

Whatever possibilities there may have been in the 
act of 1890 disappeared with the "rule of reason" intro 
duced by the Supreme Court, Not "restraint of trade" 
but "unreasonable restraint of trade" was the meaning 
of those who framed this law. Finally, in 1920, came 
the decision in favor of the continuance of the Steel 
Trust on the ground that public policy demanded it. 
I know of no better comment on the situation than the 
interview given out by Judge Gary after the Court s 
decision was announced: 

"The decision as made will immeasurably add to the 
general feeling of confidence in the value of property 
and in the opportunities of business enterprise." (Bos 
ton "Globe," March 2, 1920.) 

Judge Gary summarizes the entire policy of the Fed 
eral Government with regard to combinations and 
trusts. They were organized to protect property, and 
Congress has done everything in its power, during the 
last thirty years, to make trust organizers feel secure 
and happy. 



Predatory power in the United States centers in 
three institutions the bank, the trust and the rail 
road. In previous chapters I have described my rela 
tions with the money power and with the masters of 
organized industry. During my two terms in the Sen 
ate I had many a struggle with the representatives and 
bankers and trust magnates. I also had numerous 
encounters with the spokesman of the railroads, which 
were, perhaps, the most powerful and aggressive of 
the vested interests during the last two decades of the 
nineteenth century. 

Before I went to the United States Senate in 1889, 
I had built and operated a railroad from Sioux Falls to 
Yankton, S. D. I also began to organize and build the 
Midland Pacific Railroad, from Sioux Falls, S. D., to 
Puget Sound. For several years I had engineers on 
the road locating the line through to Seattle, crossing 
the Rocky Mountains near the mouth of Yellowstone 
Lake. Consequently I was thoroughly familiar with 
the costs of railroad building and operation. 

When I entered the Senate I was of the opinion that 
the highways of the United States should be owned and 
operated by the Government, for the benefit of the 
people of the United States operated for service and 
not for profit. At the beginning of my term I knew 
very little of the general operation of the railroads by 
the great combinations which then controlled them, 
but a short time in the Senate clinched this conviction 
by showing me that the railroads were robbing the 
Government as well as the people of the United States. 

For instance, I found that J. L. Bell, who was Second 
Assistant Postmaster-General, had been a railroad em 
ployee at a salary several times as great as that which 
he received as Second Assistant Postmaster-General, 
and that he had resigned his position with the rail 
roads to become Assistant Postmaster-General, and in 
that capacity to direct the railroad mail service. Thus 


the railroads had taken charge of the Po-st Office De 
partment just as they have taken charge of the courts 
and the Interstate Commerce Commission by the 
simple expedient of putting their man in control. This 
railroad man commissioned in the public service to 
look after railroad interests invariably proceeded to ex 
ploit the public in the interests of the special interests 
for which he was working. 

Nowhere did I see this principle more amply illus 
trated than in the case of railway mail pay. For carry 
ing the mail, during the time I served in the Senate of 
the United States, the railroads received ten times as 
much per pound as the express companies paid for 
carrying express matter on the same train, and gener 
ally in the same car. In addition, when the railway 
mail-cars were established, the companies rented to the 
Government for $6,000 per year cars that cost less than 
$3,000, so that the annual rental was double the value 
of the car. To complete the work, the railroads and 
their attorneys in both houses of Congress franked 
great quantities of Government publications and 
shipped them through the mails, back and forth, all 
over the United States, during the thirty days of each 
year when the mail was being weighed for the purpose 
of determining the amount of compensation that the 
railroads were to receive. From an investigation of 
the matter in the early years of my service I know that 
this practice was continued during the twelve years 
that I was a member of the Senate, and that millions 
of pounds of Government documents were shipped back 
and forth every year under a frank of some member of 
Congress or member of the Senate, during the thirty 
days the mail was being weighed to determine the com 
pensation of the railroads, and that J. Laurie Bell, Sec 
ond Assistant Postmaster-General and his successors, 
employee of the railroads rather than of the Govern 
ment, superintended the job. 

This abuse was so open and so flagrant that I offered 
an amendment to the Post Office Appropriation Bill, 


reducing the compensation for carrying the mails 
twenty per cent, and an investigation verified the facts 
that I have stated ; yet the committee would not report 
in favor of reducing the pay of the railroads one cent. 
Two-thirds of the Senate and House were lawyers 
very many of them in the direct pay of the railroads on 
a salary, or a fee, and nothing whatever could be accom 

When the Senate investigated this question and 
brought the employees of the Second Assistant Post 
master-General before the Committee, they deceived 
the Committee in the interest of the railroads whom 
they were serving. I quote some of the evidence from 
the Congressional Record: 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "I will read first from the report 
of the Postmaster-General under the head of Weighing 
the Mails, from the report of 1896 : 

" The Department takes every precaution 
at its command to insure honest weighing of 
the railroad mails. But this has not prevented 
one or two attempts on the part of the rail 
road officials to pad the mails during the 
weighing season/ 

What are the facts ? The Seaboard Air Line procured 
116 tons of public documents franked by some member 
of the House of Representatives or of the Senate. 
They can secure them without the connivance at all of 
the persons who frank them. They ship them back and 
forth to their station agents. They ship this franked 
matter during the weighing season to a station, and 
have their agents take out the packages from the bags, 
redirect them, and mail them again. So they kept 
these 16 tons of frankable matter going for thirty 
days. The Department determined to have a reweigh- 
ing. They had a reweighing for thirty days more, and 
then the railroad company secured an extra edition of 
a newspaper that weighed 5 tons; they shipped that 
back and forth along the line, and distributed it over 


the line during the thirty days, and when the Post 
master-General complained, they asked him what he 
was going to do about it. And Mr. McBee, the man 
ager of the road, asked the Postmaster-General why 
the Seaboard Air Line had been singled out as a sub 
ject for criticism for stuffing the mails during the re- 
weighing period, when it was well known that all rail 
roads practiced the same fraud upon the Government. 
So it is the general practice. There is no doubt about 
it. Everybody knows it. We do not need to investi 
gate the matter much to learn that fact. . . ." 

There is a great profit in carrying the mail which 
pays 2 cents postage, and so the railroads have organ 
ized on their own hook a postal system which defrauds 
the Government out of hundreds of thousands, and I 
believe millions, of dollars a year because that branch 
of the service, the carrying of letters, is profitable. 

The railroads did not stop with the exploitation of 
the Government they were criminal in their treat 
ment of the public. The railroads gave very low rates 
to their favorites, and very high rates to the rest of 
the people. They determined which men should pros 
per and do business and which men should be made 
bankrupt by their discriminations. They also deter 
mined, through their rates, which town should grow 
and which should languish. A prosperous town could 
be destroyed and its industries closed by giving to its 
rival town a railroad rate of one-half or less, and this 
was done constantly. The Interstate Commerce Com 
mission was created for the purpose of correcting this 
and similar abuses. Eleven years after the law was 
passed creating the Commission, I find this statement 
in the annual report (1898) : 

"We are satisfied from investigations con 
ducted during the past year and referred to 
in another portion of this report, as well as 
from information which his perfectly convinc 
ing to a moral intent, . . . that a large part 


of the business at the present time is trans 
acted upon illegal rates. Indeed, so general 
has this rule become that in certain quarters 
the exaction of the published rate is the excep 
tion. From this, two things naturally and fre 
quently result: First, gross discriminations 
between individuals and gross preference be 
tween localities; and these discriminations 
and preferences are almost always in favor of 
the strong, and against the weak. There is 
probably no one thing today which does so 
much to force out the small operator, and to 
build up those trusts and monopolies against 
which law and public alike beat in vain, as dis 
crimination in freight rates. Second, the busi 
ness of railroad transportation is carried on to 
a very large extent in conceded violations of 
law. Men who in every other respect are 
reputable citizens are guilty of acts which, if 
the statute law of the land were enforced, 
would subject them to fine or imprisonment." 

Further on, the report of the Interstate Commerce 
Commission says: "Discriminations are always in fa 
vor of the strong and against the weak. This condi 
tion the law seems powerless to control." Thus the 
railroads were above the law. The United States 
judges, generally selected from the ranks of the corpo 
ration and railroad attorneys, go upon the bench to 
construe the law, which they do in the interest of their 
former employers. 

A prominent oil refiner of Pennsylvania, writing un 
der date of October 4, 1899, after setting forth his com 
plaint against the railway discrimination in favor of the 
Standard Oil Company, gives his experience as follows : 

"I manufacture 35,000 barrels of oil per 
month. Seventy per cent of that is marketed 
in Europe where the railroads are controlled 
by the governments. We have no difficulty in 


competing with the Standard Oil Company in 
those countries, because our tonnage is car 
ried as cheap by the Government as that of 
the Standard Oil Company, although the 
Standard Oil Company ships one thousand 
times more to the interior of the several coun 
tries than I do. The reason that I am obliged to 
send 70 per cent of my oil across the Atlantic 
Ocean to be marketed is because I cannot 
transport it over the railroads of the United 
States at the same rates as the Standard Oil 

How much influence the railroads exerted in build 
ing up the trusts may be readily inferred from the 
following instance: 

The Tin Plate Trust was endeavoring to make 
terms with an independent producer; he replied that 
he felt no desire to change his methods; his com 
pany was making money, doing well in fact, and 
were quite satisfied with their plant and its owner 
ship. The promoter of the trust advised the presi 
dent of the company that it would be better to sell 
out; but finding his offers of no avail to secure the 
property he proceeded to threats. "You are enjoy 
ing certain concessions in your freight rates," he said. 
"All your profits would cease if these freight rates 
were withdrawn; if you will not sell to us, we will 
see what we can do." In a few days the manager 
of the railway wrote the independent mill owner 
that the rates conceded the company would have to 
be withdrawn, because," etc. The mill-owner called 
a meeting of the stockholders and bondholders, ex 
plained the situation, and in two weeks the mill was 
turned over to the trust. 

So much for the attitude of the railroads toward 
the Government and towards the people of the United 
States. Now, a word as to another phase of their 
activity the financing. 


The railroads of the United States when they wen; 
constructed were bonded for more than they actu 
ally cost, and then those who were manipulating; 
them issued common and preferred stock for con 
siderable more than the amount of the bonds. Thus 
both bonds and stocks are simply gambling chips 
which can be used to swindle the American public. 

Railroad securities should be the most stable of 
all securities because the railroads are the highways 
of the nation, and their service is absolutely essen 
tial and reasonably uniform. Yet for many years 
these railroad securities have been the football o1 

While I was in the Senate the price of the leading 
railroad stocks fluctuated from 30 to 300 per cent in 
a single year, and the price of the bonds from 5 tc 
100 per cent. At the same time, the bulk of the 
stocks paid no dividends, and large numbers of the 
bonds paid no interest. To show how largely fic 
titious these stocks and bonds were considered, I take 
the following table from the report of the Interstate 
Commerce Commission: 


Funded debt 


cent of 

(exclusive of 



equipment trust 


Per cent paid 





Nothing paid . 

. $3,570,155,239 


$ 852,402,622 


From 1 to 2. . 





From 2 to 3. . 





From 3 to 4. . 





From 4 to 5. . 





From 5 to 6. . 





From 6 to 7. . 





From 7 to 8. . 





From 8 to 9. . 





From 9 to 10. . 





10 and above . . 






. $5,388,268,321 




We see from this statement that three and one-half 
billion of the five and a half billion of railway stock 
paid no dividends, while nearly a billion of the bonds 


received no interest, and six hundred millions more 
of stock and bonds paid only a return between 1 and 
3 per cent. These facts are only noted in order that 
the notion of the total value of railways may not be 
erroneously inferred from a merely nominal capi 

The situation is well summed up in the case of the 
Union & Central Pacific Railroads which were con 
ceived in the womb of the Republican Party; were 
born into the world as the full-fledged children of 
corruption and iniquity, and which never for one day 
drew an honest breath. Ames and his associates 
(who were, like Ames, the most prominent bankers 
and business men of their day) organized the Credit 
Mobilier, came to Washington, and acted as mid- 
wives for the Congress of the United States while it 
gave birth to these twins. 

Ames and his associates distributed the stock of 
the Credit Mobilier among the Senators and members 
of the House of Representatives, every Republican 
member with a particle of influence receiving a 
share, while almost all of the prominent Democratic 
leaders were taken care of in the same manner. 
Thereupon laws were passed by which the Govern 
ment of the United States gave these two roads a 
land grant of half of all the land ten miles wide on 
each side of the track from Omaha to San Francisco, 
and in addition furnished a sum of money more than 
sufficient to build and equip the roads. In exchange 
for this grant of money, the Government received a 
second mortgage. The roads never paid any in 
terest to the Government, and in 1896 when the sec 
ond mortgage fell due the managers of the roads 
selected a reorganizing committee of professional ex 
ploiters to devise ways and means to swindle the 
Government out of its money, principal and inter 
est. This reorganization committee consisted of 
Marvin Hughitt, President of the Chicago and North 


Western Railroad, Chauncey Depew, President of the 
New York Central, and Louis Fitzgerald, T. J. Cool- 
idge and Oliver Ames, who represented the Goulds 
of New York and the Ames crowd of Boston. 

I met this proposal of the reorganization commit 
tee by introducing a resolution directing the Secre 
tary of the Treasury to proceed at once to foreclose 
the mortgage held by the Government on the Union 
Pacific and the Kansas Pacific companies; to pay oif 
the prior liens and the floating indebtedness; to as 
sume control of all the property of the two roadt, 
including the Federal land grants ; to take possession 
of the roads, and to pay the necessary costs by the 
sale of three per cent bonds. 

I will let the Congressional Record tell the rest of 
this story : 

Mr. PETTIGREW : "Mr. President, I wish to call 
the especial attention of the Committee on Pacific 
Railroads to this resolution, for I think it outlines a 
method by which to solve this much-discussed ques 
tion in a businesslike manner, and in the only way it 
can be solved with credit to the Government. We 
have only the interests of the whole people to con 
sider. There are no equities in this case in favor 
of the present stockholders of these roads, and I will 
show that the reorganization committee of the stock 
holders of the roads are entitled to no consideration 
whatever, as they represent the heartless and un 
scrupulous scamps that have been robbing the Govern 
ment and the public for a generation, casting re 
proach upon our Government and our people that must 
make every honest citizen blush with shame. 

"The stockholders and owners of the first mort 
gage bonds on the Union and Kansas Pacific Rail 
roads have appointed a committee to reorganize the 
road and to settle with the Government for its second 
mortgage upon the property. This reorganization 
committee proposes to issue one hundred million of 


fifty-year 4 per cent bonds on about 1,900 miles of 
road that is, the road from Omaha to Ogden, which 
is the main line of the Union Pacific, and about 400 
miles of road from Kansas City west, which is the 
Kansas Pacific Railroad. . . 

This 1,900 miles of railroad can be reproduced 
for $23,600 per mile, and yet the Government of the 
United States is asked to go into partnership with a 
party of dishonest men, and bond and stock the road 
for $123,600 per mile, and the public whom this road 
serves is to be called upon to pay interest on this vast 
sum. . . . 

"But they go further than this, and tell us how 
they will distribute this vast amount of stocks and 
bonds. They propose that the Government shall 
take $34,000,000 of the bonds, which is just equal 
to the principal of the Government s claim against 
the roads, and shall take $20,000,000 of the pre 
ferred stock in full payment for all the defaulting in 
terest; that the first-mortgage bonds, which amount 
to $34,000,000, shall be taken up and a like number 
of these new bonds issued in their place; and for 
every $1,000 of bonds issued to the present holders 
of the first-mortgage bonds of these roads, $500 of 
preferred stock shall be issued as a bonus, the re 
mainder of the stock and the remainder of the bonds 
to be the property undoubtedly of the conspirators 
in this stupendous transaction. 

"Let us see who are the men who compose this re 
organization committee of the Union and the Kansas 
Pacific railroads. This reorganization committee is 
composed of five members, Louis Fitzgerald, T. J. 
Coolidge and Oliver Ames being three out of the five 
members of the reorganization committee (who rep 
resent the old management of the road, the Goulds 
of New York and the Ameses of Boston) , the other 
two being Marvin Hughitt and Chauncey Depew. 
While every one of the receivers who are now man- 


aging and operating the road is in the interest of this 
gang of highwaymen who have plundered the public 
with this instrumentality in the past, three of the re 
ceivers, namely S. H. H. Clark, who was formerly 
manager and for years president of the road, has 
been and is the representative of the Gould interest; 
Mr. Mink, of Boston, was comptroller of the com 
pany and has been for years its vice-president, and 
is also an executor of the will of the late Fred L. 
Ames, and is of course the direct and immediate rep 
resentative of the Boston crowd of highwaymen who, 
through the use of this highway the Union and the 
Kansas Pacific Railroads have robbed the public 
and the Government for the past thirty years. The 
third receiver, who has always acted with this in 
terest, is E. Ellery Anderson, who has also been for 
several years a Government director, and was placed 
there for the purpose of protecting the Government^ 
interests, but has never undertaken to protect the 
Government s interests, and has always acted in the 
interest of the old and dishonest management. The 
other two receivers of the road, Coudert and Doane, 
seem to have a leaning in the same direction, for 
they have been Government directors, and have 
never remonstrated against the frauds which have 
disgraced the management of these roads, and of 
which they must have had knowledge. 

"If this reorganization plan is carried through 
with the assistance of the Government the road will 
have to earn 4 per cent of $100,000,000 of bonds and 
5 per cent at least on $75,000,000 of preferred stock, 
and the people along the line of the road will be 
charged a rate sufficient to accomplish this result, 
even if no dividend whatever is paid upon the $60,- 
000,000 of common stock. This interest charged, 
then, will amount to $7,750,000 a year, which would 
be an unjustifiable burden upon the people who are 
served by the road. The only reasonable and proper 


thing for the Government of the United States to do 
is to take possession of the road, issue its own bonds 
bearing 3 per cent interest as provided by the reso 
lution which I have offered, pay the first-mortgage 
bonds of $34,000,000, refund to the Government of 
the United States the $53,000,000 now due to the 
Government from these companies, take up and pay 
the floating debt of these roads of $12,000,000, and 
thus get possession of the bonds and stocks which 
are held as collateral security for this floating debt, 
and thus acquire title to $98,000,000 par value of the 
branch lines bonds and stock, the market value of 
which is at least $42,000,000 at the present time, 
thus taking possession of all the branch lines of these 
roads, amounting to 4,000 miles of track, and oper 
ate the whole as one great system. 

"In this way the Government would realize every 
dollar these roads owe it. The interest charged 
would be only 3 per cent on $100,000,000 of bonds, 
or $3,000,000 per annum, instead of $7,750,000 un 
der the plan proposed by the reorganization com 
mittee. The rates for carrying freight and pas 
sengers would therefore be much less. There would 
be no incentive for discrimination in favor of persons 
or places; every man and every town would have an 
equal opportunity, and the scandal of our Govern 
ment connected with the Union Pacific management 
would disappear from the pages of our history." 

I have devoted more space to the Union & Central 
Pacific than I would were it not for the fact that 
their history, management and method are a true 
picture of the railroad situation in the United States. 

Before I leave the subject I should like to quote 
an interesting passage from the autobiography of 
Charles Francis Adams, who was made President of 
the Union Pacific Railroad in 1884. Mr. Adams, in 
referring to the dealings between the Union Pacific 
and the Government with regard to the second mort- 


gage which the Government held on the road, or. 
page 192 writes: 

"I was sent over to Washington to avert the 
threatened action of the Government, and then and 
there I had my first experience in the most hopeless; 
and repulsive work in which I ever was engaged 
transacting business with the United States Govern 
ment and trying to accomplish something through 
Congressional action. My initial episode was with 
a prominent member of the United States Senate 
This senator is still (1912) alive though long retired 
He has a great reputation for ability and a certair 
reputation, somewhat fly-blown it is true, for rugged 
honesty. I can only say that I found him an ill- 
mannered bully and by all odds the most covertly 
and dangerously corrupt man I ever had opportunity 
and occasion carefully to observe in public life. His 
grudge against the Union Pacific was that it had not 
retained him. While he took excellent care of those 
competing concerns which had been wiser in this 
respect, he never lost an opportunity of posing as the 
fearless antagonist of corporations when the Union 
Pacific came to the front. For that man, on good 
and sufficient grounds, I entertained a deep dislike. 
He was distinctly dishonest a senatorial bribe 

Early in my term of service in the Senate, the rail 
roads began to combine and to pool the freight and 
to agree upon rates. The combination of the rail 
roads was in violation of the Anti-Trust Law, but the 
law had been framed to make it as easy as possible 
for the corporations to evade its provisions, and the 
railroads cared nothing about the Anti-Trust Law 
because their lawyers were in the executive offices 
and on the bench. When the Joint Traffic Asso 
ciation was organized in violation of the Sherman 
Anti-Trust Law, and suit was brought by the Gov 
ernment to dissolve it on that account, it was found 


that the Association was a combination of thirty-two 
of the leading roads in the United States to pool the 
business, agree upon the division of traffic, and have 
uniform rates, so far as the public was concerned; 
that Hobart, Vice-President of the United States, was 
one of the arbitrators and drew a salary as such 
arbitrator for this Joint Traffic Association, and when 
the suit was brought before the United States Court 
in New York, Judge Lacombe announced from the 
bench that he was disqualified from sitting on the 
case because he owned the stocks and bonds cf the 
defendant railroads, and he said: "I am of the opin 
ion that there is no judge in this Circuit but that is 
suffering a like disqualification." 

In 1874, the Senate of the United States, in response 
to a general demand, appointed a Special Committee on 
Transporattion, composed of William Windom, of Min 
nesota, John Sherman, of Ohio, Roscoe Conkling, of 
New York, H. G. Davis, of West Virginia, T. M. Nor 
wood of Georgia, J. W. Johnson, of Virginia, John H. 
Mitchell, of Oregon, and S. B. Canover, of Florida. 
The committee occupied the entire summer of 1874 in 
making an exhaustive examination of the subject, and 
in their report we find the following : 

"In the matter of taxation, there are today 
four men representing the four great trunk 
lines between Chicago and New York, who 
possess, and who not unfrequently exercise, 
powers which the Congress of the United 
States would not dare to exert. They may at 
any time, and for any reason satisfactory to 
themselves, by a single stroke of the pen, re 
duce the value of property in this country by 
hundreds of millions of dollars. An additional 
charge of five cents per bushel on the trans 
portation of cereals would have been equiva 
lent to a tax of forty-five millions of dollars. 
No congress would dare to exercise so vast a 


power upon a necessity of the most imperative 
nature, and yet these gentlemen exercise it 
whenever it suits their supreme will and plea 
sure, without explanation or apology. With 
the rapid and inevitable progress of combina 
tion and consolidation, these colossal organi 
zations are daily becoming stronger and more 
imperious. The day is not distant, if it has 
not already arrived, when it will be the duty 
of the statesman to inquire whether there is 
less danger in leaving the property and in 
dustrial interests of the people thus wholly 
at the mercy of a few men who recognize no 
responsibility and no principle of action but 
personal aggrandizement." 

All of these facts convinced me that the only pos 
sible remedy was the Government ownership of the 
railroads. I therefore prepared and introduced a 
bill for this purpose (Senate Bill No. 1770) on the 
18th day of December, 1899. This bill provided 
that the railroads should be operated under the 
Post Office Department, and operated for service and 
not for profit, and that the owners should receive 
United States bonds for the actual value of the prop 
erty. At that time the roads would have cost the Gov 
ernment between four and five billions, although they 
were capitalized at from eight to nine billions, in 
cluding the stocks and the bonds. I also included in 
this bill a provision that all rates should be abso 
lutely uniform, alike for everybody in proportion to 
the service rendered ; that passenger fares should not 
exceed one cent per mile, and I showed conclusively 
that passengers should be carried in this country at 
a profit at one cent per mile, provided no passes 
were granted. I knew the extent of the pass abuse. 
I knew that every politician and every lawyer of 
any prominence, and every judge, and every con 
gressman, and everybody else that had any pull, rode 


upon a pass, and that the public was charged two 
prices for riding, in order to pay the railroads for 
carrying free those people who could best afford to 
pay their fare. 

I also provided for a Commission of Transportation 
in this law, under the Post Office Department, to 
operate the roads and to remove the control, as far as 
possible, from political influence. The bill also pro 
vided that the express business should be done by the 
Government, and I showed that the express business 
could be done at a cost to the public of less than 
one-half the price charged by the express companies 
if done by the Government through the Postoffice on 
Government railroads. 

When I introduced the bill and had it printed, 
some of my friends came to me and said: "Well, 
what will your friend James J. Hill think of your 
introducing a bill for the government ownership of 
the railroads?" I said: "James J. Hill is a big man; 
he is one, out of the whole railroad system, that is 
not a stock gambler, and I sent him the first copy 
of the bill that was printed/ Some months after 
ward, when I met Mr. Hill, the first thing he said 
was: "I received your Railroad Bill, and you are 
entirely right about it If the railroads are going to 
combine and" said he, "they are going to combine 
the only way the public can be protected from 
robbery is to have the Government own the rail 

Needless to say, my bill received scant considera 
tion and little support from the champions of priv 
ilege who dominated the House and Senate, nor need 
I add that its introduction marked me as a man who 
should be eliminated from public life at the earliest 
possible moment. I am now of the opinion that the 
Government of the United States should take the 
railroads and cancel all the outstanding stocks and 
bonds without making any payment to the holders 


of the same. There are no innocent owners. The 
railroads are the highways of the nation and have 
been built and paid for more than once by the Ameri 
can people, but are now in the hands of a gang of 
gambling scoundrels who are using these highways 
to enrich themselves and their favorites and to rob 
and exploit the whole population. To take the roads 
without paying anything to these thieves is not con 
fiscation or robbery, but simply returning the stolen 
property to its rightful owners. 

The Interstate Commerce Commission has just is 
sued a report showing that, out of 627,930 stock 
holders in the various railroads of the United States, 
the majority of stock is owned by only 8,031 persons 
or 1.3 per cent of all the stockholders. 

The Commission, through its Bureau of Statistics, 
has discovered that of a total of 97,475,776 shares 
of all the railroads, 50,873,322 shares are held by the 
small minority, an average of 6,130 shares each. 
The balance of 46,602,454 shares is owned by 649,- 
629 stockholders, an average of 75 shares each. The 
8,031 stockholders who own the majority stock in 
clude holding companies of railroads, as well as 
other corporations. It also includes the stock held 
by voting trustees and estates. The Interstate Com 
merce Commission s Report distributes these hold 
ings as follows : 


Held by other railway companies 24,638,407 

By other corporations or partnerships. . 11,565,838 

By voting trustees 5,307,043 

By estates 1,333,961 

By individuals (males) 6,945,205 

By individuals (females) . 1,082,868 

The report shows that of 100,000 stockholders in 
the Pennsylvania Railroad, the largest twenty own 
8.9 per cent of the total stock outstanding; that of 
the 27,000 stockholders in the New York Central, 


25.1 per cent is held by the largest twenty stock 
holders. The largest twenty shareholders in the 
Illinois Central own 41.6 per cent; in the Southern 
Pacific 23 per cent; in the Southern Railway, 37.7 
per cent; in the Chicago & Northwestern, 20.9 per 
cent; in the Great Northern 18.5 per cent; in the 
Northern Pacific, 19.8 per cent; in the Chicago, Mil 
waukee & St. Paul, 18.5 per cent; in the Lehigh 
Valley, 18.1 per cent; in the Baltimore & Ohio, 17.4 
per cent; in the New York, New Haven & Hartford, 
15.3 per cent; in the Erie, 19.7 per cent; in the 
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, 14.3 per cent. 

One hundred per cent of the stock of the Penn 
sylvania Company, which owns all the Pennsylvania 
Lines w r est of Pittsburgh and Erie, is owned by 17 
shareholders, including the Pennsylvania Railroad 
Company, which is the holding concern. The en 
tire stock of the Philadelphia & Reading, one of the 
principal coal roads, is owned by thirteen stock 
holders, including the Reading Company; and 99.5 
per cent of the stock of the C. B. & Q. is owned by 
the twenty largest shareholders out of a total of 326 

The largest blocks of stock of the Erie; Phila 
delphia & Reading; Wabash; Southern; Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul; Great Northern; Northern 
Pacific; Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific and Union 
Pacific are held by corporations or partnerships other 
than railways. 

Of the Wabash stock, 46,000 shares are held in 
Amsterdam, Holland, and 36,000 shares by fourteen 
New York and one Boston concern. Of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul, 216,000 shares are held by 
eleven New York concerns; the bulk of the stock 
of the Virginia Railway is held by the Tidewater 
Company; the stock of the Bessemer & Lake Erie 
is owned by the United States Steel Corporation. 

Virtually all the corporations that are among the 


largest shareholders of the various railroads do busi 
ness with these railroads and obtain special advan 

The earlier reports of the Interstate Commerce 
Commission show that the largest industrial monop 
olies of the country were favored by the railroads 
to the extent of hundreds of millions of dollars in 
rebates, drawbacks and differentials; and that the 
railroads were managed largely in the interest 01 
these monopolies as against the interest of rival con 
cerns and the public generally. This is particularly 
true with reference to Standard Oil, as disclosed by 
reports of the Interstate Commerce Commission and 
by the testimony of witnesses before Congressional 
Investigation Committees. 

The par value of railroad stocks is generally $100 
a share, which means that the 97,475,776 shares o:: 
the railroads are estimated to be worth $9,747,- 
577,600. The total value of the bonds issued by the 
various railroads up to December 31, 1916, is esti 
mated at $11,202,607,096. 

It is obvious from this record that the control and 
ownership of the stocks of the railroads of the United 
States is concentrated in the hands of those who 
enjoy excessive private fortunes and there is no 
doubt that a similar or more acute state of concen 
tration exists in all other monopolistic corporations. 

It is quite evident, from the facts above adduced, 
that the Morgan and Rockefeller groups own the 
controlling interest in the railroads of the United 
States. The common people who own stocks and 
bonds in the roads are so few in number that they 
have neither voice nor power in the management. 




After many years of investigation devoted to this 
subject, I am convinced that the highways of the nation 
should be taken over by the Government and operated 
for the good of the people. 

The Government of the United States took over and 
operated the roads for a little over two years during the 
war, at the request of the railroads, under terms and 
conditions that were absolutely infamous, by which the 
government was plundered out of billions of dollars. 
But before the roads were turned over to the Govern 
ment to operate, these scamps (who ought to occupy 
cells in our penitentiaries), and I mean by that the 
bankers of New York, the Federal Reserve Board, the 
managers and owners of the railroads, and the great 
industrial trust combinations, organized companies to 
take over the shops of all of the great railroads con 
trolled by them. These companies were incorporated 
under the infamous laws of New York and New Jersey 
and all of the shops of the great railroads were con 
veyed to those companies, not only the repair shops, 
but the great factories where they manufacture equip 
ment for the railroads of every kind and sort, so that 
after the Government began the operation of the roads 
they had to hire all of their repairs, and buy all of 
their equipment of these great combinations, and they 
paid from four to ten times as much as the service and 
material was worth that they bought of these inside 
corporations controlled by the biggest stockholders of 
the railroads. 

They also organized terminal companies wherever 
the terminals were of great value, in all the great cities 
of the United States, and separated the terminals from 
the railroads, and then they charged as rent for the 


use of the terminals, a rental in many instances, as 
high as one hundred per cent per year on actual cost of 
the terminal. For these terminals were conveyed to 
these companies for the purpose of swindling the Gov 
ernment during its operation and to make it appear 
that the operation by the Government of the roads did 
not pay, and owing to the enormous prices which these 
men compelled the Government to pay, not only for 
terminals and switching facilities, but for repairs and 
new equipment, accounts for the failure of the roads 
to be properly bperated by the Government. But the 
roads were not really operated by the Government at 
all. Ostensibly they were. That was the talk, but the 
fact is that the management remained in the hands of 
the old crowd. 

I know very intimately the president of one of the 
great railroads. He was president during the entire 
time that the Government pretended to operate the 
roads, and he is still president of the road at a salary 
of fifty thousand dollars a year. The president of that 
road is the operating man, and he continued to operate 
the road just the same as he always had, while the 
Government had control, and he assured me that that 
was the case with practically all of the roads. They 
were simply using the camouflage of government own 
ership and operation to plunder the Government and 
the public generally, and he said to me, "We have no 
interest in making government control popular." But 
while it was an infamous transaction to turn the roads 
over to the Government, the crowning infamy was the 
Cummings bill, by which the railroads were taken back 
from the Government, to whom they had never been 
conveyed, and the Government guaranteed dividends 
on their stock and interest on their bonds. 

THEIR STOCKS OR BONDS. The railroads have 


been paid for by the American people over and over 
again, and they are the property of the American 
people. They are the highways of the nation. They 
are in the hands of a small number of gambling bank 
ers who use the stock and bonds as chips in the gam 
bling game to swindle the public. There are no in 
nocent purchasers of their stocks, and if any of the 
stocks are owned by widows or orphans, they are 
widows and orphans of a gambler, and if they are 
impoverished by the cancellation of these stocks and 
bonds and the taking over the railroads by the people 
of the United States, and are unable to work, I am 
perfectly willing that an asylum should be built to 
take care of them as long as they live. 

The owners of the railroads are entitled to no con 
sideration whatever from the American people. They 
have forfeited all right to any consideration whatever. 

It is now nearly twenty-five years since I introduced 
a bill in the Senate of the United States to take over 
and operate the railroad companies for service, and not 
for profit ; operate them by the Postoffice Department. 
I showed in an argument in the Senate that the rail 
roads could reduce their freight rates one-half and still 
be operated at a profit, if all favors granted to big 
trusts and combinations were eliminated and the serv 
ice granted to all the people on equal terms. I showed 
that the practice was for the big stockholders to be 
come interested in some manufacturing enterprise and 
then cut rates to less than half what they gave to the 
public, to the favored enterprises. I showed that these f 
people who could afford to pay their fare rode on a 
pass, and that the common people paid three to four 
cents a mile, and I provided in this bill that passenger 
fares should hereafter, under government ownership, 
be one cent per mile for everybody, and no passes 
granted to anyone. I showed that express could be 
carried on government owned railroads for one-third 
what the public was now paying for this service. I 

then proposed to buy the roads and pay for them by 
using Government bonds, a sum equal to their actual 
physical value. But since then the conduct of the rail 
road managers has been such that there is no justifica 
tion whatever in buying the roads. They should be 
taken over as the highways of the United States and 
operated for the general welfare and their stocks and 
bonds cancelled and destroyed. This is not confisca 
tion or robbery, it is restoring stolen property to its 
rightful owners and it would be well to put the thieves 
in jail so that they cannot steal something else. 



I have tried in the preceding chapters to describe 
some of the more important economic changes that 
have occurred in the United States during the past 
fifty years. All of them relate to business, to the 
rich, the powerful. The control of the banks; the 
right to issue money; the tariff-privileges enjoyed 
by the favored few; the organization of the trusts, 
and the manipulation of the railroads these were 
the outstanding features of a system that gave prop 
erty-holders first choice in all of the important eco 
nomic relations of life. 

A visitor to the United States, during these years, 
would have supposed that the workers did not count 
for much, one way or the other, but that the very heart 
and soul of existence consisted in putting more money 
into the hands of the rich. Indeed, this was the atti 
tude taken by a majority of my colleagues in both 
houses of Congress. 

The whole trend of legislation was toward the grant- ,< 
ing of privilege. The lawyers, who composed both 
houses of Congress, were representatives of the busi 
ness interests. They never asked the question : "What 
does the public welfare demand?" Instead, their one 
thought was : "What do my clients want ?" Therefore, 
their actions were always directed toward the protec 
tion of property and never toward the protection of the 

Perhaps I can best illustrate this point by reference 
to an experience which I had with a bill requiring the 
railroads to report accidents. 

During the whole twelve years of my service in the 
Senate, only one bill, even remotely in the interests of 
labor, became a law. All of the others, and there were 
hundreds of them, were either reported from the com 
mittees adversely, or not reported at all. If reported 
and passed through the house where they originated, 
they were always killed in the other body. If a bill 


originated h* the Senate and passed the Senate, the 
committee in the House would never report it. If a bill 
passed the House and came to the Senate, the Senate 
committee would not report it ; or, if the committee did 
make a report, it was done in such a manner that the 
bill was sure to receive no serious consideration. Al 
though the American Federation of Labor always had 
its lobbyists at work, and there were other labor organ 
izations that had their representatives urging the pas 
sage of legislation, the clever manipulation of bills by 
bodies of both houses offered a guarantee that nothing 
definite or effective would ever be accomplished. 

Finally, during the last year of my service in the 
Senate, a bill passed the House requiring railroads to 
file with the Interstate Commerce Commission monthly 
reports of accidents their causes and the names of 
the persons injured. The bill was referred to the Com 
mittee on Interstate Commerce. 

Late in the session, the representative of the rail 
road men, who had been working for a year to have 
this bill passed, came to me and said he could not get 
the Senate Committee to report the bill. He asked me 
to take charge of it and see if I could not secure its 
passage. This was some time in January, 1901, and 
my term as a Senator expired on the 4th of March. 

I asked him to describe in detail the steps that he 
had taken to secure its passage. He gave me the in 
formation, and concluded with the observation that, in 
his judgment, the Senate did not intend to pass the 
bill. I gathered that he came to me as a sort of forlorn 
last hope. 

I finally told him that I would take charge of the bill, 
provided it was understood that I had full charge, and 
I promised him that I would make it exceedingly inter 
esting for the Interstate Commerce Committee if it did 
not allow the bill to pass. I told him, furthermore, 
that it would be a hot fight in which some bitter enemies 
would be made for all who supported the bill. I further 
told him that my method would discourage him, but 


that, in my judgment, it was the only method that had 
even a remote chance of success. If I would have his 
full support under these circumstances, and without 
any interference, I was willing to take the bill. To this 
proposition he heartily agreed. 

I then went before the Committee on Interstate Com 
merce at its next session and gave vigorous reasons 
why the bill should be reported.* The railroad attor 
neys on the committee Wolcott of Colorado and 
others protested that the reports of the railroads 
would be examined by shyster lawyers and used to 
begin suits for damage. I said : "That is not the reason 

* The bill was worded as follows : "An Act requiring com 
mon carriers engaged in interstate commerce to make full re 
port of all accidents to the Interstate Commerce Commission. 


"It shall be the duty of the general manager, superintendent 
or other proper officer of common carrier engaged in interstate 
commerce by railroad to make to the Interstate Commerce Com 
mission, at its office in Washington, District of Columbia, a 
monthly report, under oath, of all collisions of trains or where 
any train or part of a train accidentally leaves the track, and of 
accidents which may occur to its passengers or employes while 
in the service of such common carrier and actually on duty, 
which report shall state the nature and causes thereof, and the 
circumstances connected therewith. 

"Sec. 2. That any common carrier failing to make such 
report within thirty days after the end of any month shall be 
deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof 
by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be punished by a 
fine of not more than one hundred dollars for each and every 
offense and for every day during which it shall fail to make 
such report after the time herein specified for making the same. 

"Sec. 3. That neither said report nor any part thereof shall 
be admitted as evidence or used for any purpose against such 
railroad so making such report in any suit or action for dam 
ages growing out of any matter mentioned in said report. 

"Sec. 4. That the Interstate Commerce Commission is au 
thorized to prescribe for such common carriers a method and 
form for making the reports in the foreging section provided. 

"Aproved March 3, 1901." 


, why you oppose this bill. Your clients have ordered 
you to kill this bill because they, the railroads, are not 
obeying the law as to safety appliances. It costs 
money to stop killing, so they refuse to obey the lav- 
while they continue to kill. You know as well as I do 
that more people, both employees and passengers, are 
killed on American railroads than by all the other rail 
roads in the world. An amendment to the bill will 
prevent the report being used against the roads in 
damage suits." The next day the Committee reported 
the bill with four or five amendments, any one of which 
would have made the law, if passed, practically inoper 
ative. I called up the bill for passage, and .showed to 
the Senate the meaning of the amendments offered, 
with the result that I had the first amendment rejected 
by the Senate after a long discussion and bitter strug 
gle on the floor. Thereupon the chairman of the Com 
mittee arose in his seat and moved that the bill be re 
committed to the Committee, which is a motion that is 
always agreed to and, therefore, the bill was recom 
mitted to what the railroad lawyers .supposed would be 
its graveyard. 

At the next meeting the Committee on Interstate 
Commerce did not act upon the bill nor report it back 
to the Senate. I, therefore, introduced a resolution in 
the Senate to discharge the Committee from further 
consideration of the bill and place it immediately upon 
the calendar. This led to a filibuster debate which was 
intended to wear out the session. Whereupon the 
chairman of the Committee arose in his seat and said 
that if I would withdraw my motion he would call a 
meeting the next day and would report the bill. So 
the bill was reported from the Committee the next day 
with amendments which wholly destroyed its original 
purpose. I moved the immediate consideration of the 
bill and I stated in the Senate that I had been a mem 
ber of that body for twelve years and that during that 
time no labor bill had passed both Houses and become 
a law; that this sort of a record could not be justified 


or defended by the Congress of the United States, espe 
cially should Congress defeat the present measure. I 
also stated that the railroads wanted to defeat this 
bill because, while the Congress of the United States 
had enacted laws compelling the railroads to use certain 
safety appliances upon their trains, appliances which 
cost money the railroads were not using these appli 
ances, with the result that many accidents occurred 
which could be traced directly to the absence of these 
appliances. The bill was particularly obnoxious be 
cause its passage would make a public record of these 
facts. I succeeded, therefore, in defeating all of the 
amendments but the one which provided that the re 
ports .should not be used in court. Thereupon the 
chairman of the Committee moved to recommit the bill 
to the Committee. 

The next day I offered a resolution to discharge the 
Committee from further consideration of the measure 
and place it upon the calendar. The chairman of the 
Committee immediately arose in the Senate and said he 
would call an extra session for the next morning and 
would report the bill if I would withdraw my motion, 
which, of course, I did. The next day the bill was re 
ported with the same amendment with regard to not 
using the reports against the railroads and with an 
other amendment destroying the real intent of the bill. 
I defeated the pernicious amendment in the Senate and 
the railroad attorneys allowed the bill to pass with the 
amendment prohibiting the use of the reports against 
the railroads in any lawsuit. 

The session was nearing a close and the opponents 
of the bill thought they could prevent it from going 
through the House of Representatives without amend 
ments. The Speaker of the House was Henderson of 
Iowa, a one-legged soldier, veteran of the Civil War, an 
honest man a rare quality in a Speaker of the House 
whose sympathy was with the men who toil. The" 
moment the bill passed the Senate, I went over to the 
House, for I had advised with Henderson several times 


about the matter, and told him that I had got the rail 
road bill through with an amendment which would not 
affect the working of the law, but that if the amended 
bill was sent to the House Committee, there would be 
delay and the session would be over before action could 
be taken. I therefore asked Henderson to have the 
House concur in the amendment as soon as it came 
over, and have the bill immediately enrolled and re 
turned to the Senate. 

Henderson asked me who had charge of the bill on 
the floor of the House. I told him the name of the 
member and when that member arose and stated to the; 
House that the Senate had passed House Bill 10,302, 
with an amendment, the Speaker immediately said : 
"The motion is upon agreeing to the amendment ol: 
the Senate to House Bill 10,302. All those in favor 
say Aye, and all those opposed say No. The ayes 
have it." 

A day passed, and I heard nothing from the bill. I 
then went to the Clerk of the House, and he told me 
that he had had the bill enrolled and had sent it over 
to the Senate. I, therefore, returned to the Senate, 
and, after waiting a day and finding that the bill did 
not come, I stated in the Senate that the bill had been 

(Congressional Record, Vol. 344, p, 3533, 56th Con 
gress, 2d session, March 2, 1901.) 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "I am informed that the Senate 
amendments were accepted by the House, and that the 
bill was enrolled and placed in the hands of the messen 
ger to bring to the Senate, and on the way, or some 
where, it has been lost. In other words, there seems 
to be an effort to steal the bill." 

Mr. LODGE : "In connection with what the Senator 
from North Dakota is saying, I desire to say that I 
have been engaged in trying to find that bill. My at 
tention was called to the fact that it was lost. It was 
announced to the Senate that the House had concurred 
in the amendments of the Senate." 


Mr. PETTIGREW: The bill was enrolled." 

Mr. LODGE: "The bill was enrolled in the House, 
is was signed by the Speaker, according to the records 
of the House, Mr. Browning, and that is the last of it. 
Mr. Browning says he delivered it here. There is no 
record of it here at all. It cannot be found. I have 
been personally to the room of the Committee on En 
rolled Bills and looked over the bunch of bills that was 
sent, and the bill is not there. I do not know what can 
be done, but the bill has disappeared between the two 

Mr. SPOONER: "Can it not be re-enrolled?" 

Mr. LODGE : "The Speaker, I am told, on one occa 
sion, when a bill had disappeared in that way, declined 
to sign the bill again. It has disappeared between the 
two houses." 

Mr. SPOONER : "It cannot be, if a bill has been lost 
before it has been signed by the officer of the other 
house and that, that Congress is powerless about it. 
Both houses have passed it." 

Mr. LODGE : "Certainly they have." 

Mr. SPOONER: "I do not see any reason why it 
cannot be re-enrolled." 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "If the bill is lost, it is lost on 
purpose. There is no question about that. That might 
do for some half-civilized community, but for the Sen 
ate of the United States it is a pretty tough propo 

After some discussion, the Senate passed a resolution 
which requested the House to have the bill re-enrolled, 
signed by the Speaker and sent over to the Senate. 

There was nothing further for the Senate to do, so I 
resolved to take the matter into my own hands. I went 
over to the House of Representatives, taking with me 
Louis Kimball, a Civil War veteran, who had been ap 
pointed, at my suggestion, messenger to one of the 
Senate Committees. On the way over to the House I 
told Kimball what had happened, and then explained 
my plan to him. I proposed to go to the Clerk of the 


House and ask him which of his assistants had en 
rolled the railroad bill. When he told me, I was to 
attract the attention of this assistant while Kimbal] 
went through his desk. 

The plan worked like a charm. McConnell was Clerk 
of the House a Republican from Pennsylvania, who 
could be relied upon by the agents of big business to 
render faithful service. I knew him well. When . 
reached his desk I asked which of the clerks had en 
rolled the railroad bill. He indicated the man, and 
started toward him. 

"No," I interposed, "call him over here." I stood 
stock still till the clerk came. 

While I engaged him in conversation about the bill, 
Kimball went through his desk and, in the back end of 
the top drawer of the desk, he found the bill, enrolled 
and ready to be transmitted to the Senate. 

"McConnell," said I to the Chief Clerk, "you know 
what this means. If that bill is not over in the Senate 
by the time I arrive there, I will ask for the floor an! 
recite to the Senate the circumstances under which we 
discovered that bill." 

Needless to say, the bill was in the Senate chamber 
before I got back. It was signed at once and sent to 
the President, who signed it on March 3, 1901, the day 
before my term as United States Senator expired. 

On the day previous, Senator Lodge made the follow 
ing explanation (March 2, 1901, p. 3537) : 

"Mr. President, I desire to say a word in regard to 
the lost bill with respect to which we passed a resolu 
tion not long ago. I am informed while the debate was 
in progress on the North Carolina Claim Bill that the 
bill had been found in a desk in the enrolling room of 
the House of Representatives. It seems to have slipped 
into the drawer of the desk. I wish to say this in jus 
tice to the clerks and officers of the Senate. It never 
came here." 

That is the story of the one labor measure that, to 
my knowledge, passed both houses of Congress and 


became a law during the twelve years that I was in 
the Senate. Every means, fair and foul, was em 
ployed to kill it, and it was rather by good luck than 
anything else that we found the bill and got it through 
in the closing hours of the Session. 

During the last year I was in the Senate, that is, 
from 1899 to March 4, 1901, the Congress of the 
United States enacted laws upon every conceivable 
subject, which fill a volume of more than 2,000 pages 
and these laws were enacted by the attorneys of the 
property interests of this country who had complete 
control of both houses, and most of these laws were 
privileges to the owners of stolen property to exploit 
the people of the United States. 

So much for the standing of labor before Congress 
it had no standing at all. And why? Partly be 
cause of the lack of organization; partly because of 
the ignorance and weakness of the leaders ; partly 
because labor can hope to gain little or nothing at 
the hands of a Congress composed of corporation law 
yers and other representatives of the business inter 
ests. Perhaps a word w r ith regard to my relations 
with the American Federation of Labor w r ill help to 
make my meaning clear. 

I became acquainted with Samuel Gompers, Presi 
dent of the American Federation of Labor, many 
years ago. At that time, I supposed that he repre 
sented the labor unions of the United States in the 
interests of the toiling masses, and that that interest 
extended to the public in general. But I very soon 
found that Samuel Gompers and the American Fed 
eration of Labor were a combination something in 
the nature of a trust, organized, even before the 
great industrial combinations were formed, for the 
purpose of exploiting everybody except the members 
of their own combination- I found that Gompers was 
standing in with the employers of labor and under- 


taking to get all he could for his crowd, without re 
ference to the general welfare. 

On August 8, 1911, Mr. Almont, one of the organ 
izers of the American Federation of Labor, came to 
me at Sioux Falls, S. D., and said that he had re 
ceived a letter from Samuel Gompers, or from the 
office of the American Federation of Labor, request 
ing Almont to secure a letter from me giving my 
opinion regarding the trade union movement. I 
thereupon wrote Gompers the following letter: 

"Sioux Falls, August 8, 1911. 
"Samuel Gompers, 

"President American Federation of Labor. 
"Dear Sir: 

"F. C. Almont, one of your organizers, has 
asked me to write you and give an opinion 
with regard to the Trade Union Movement. 

"The Trade Union should be universal and 
include every man who toils, not only in the 
factory, but on the farm. The strike and boy 
cott are but crude and savage and warlike 
remedies, and I am sure labor will never re 
ceive what it earns until the land and imple 
ments of production are co-operatively or pub 
licly owned. 

"Capital cannot exist without labor and is 
entirely dependent upon labor, while labor is 
independent of capital, can and does exist 
without it. Yet under the present system of 
production capital exploits labor, and takes 
more than two-thirds of the earnings of labor, 
and, until the system is changed, labor will 
struggle in vain to secure what it produces. 
Yours truly, 


During the fall of 1911, I visited Washington and 
called upon Gompers. He brought up the subject of 


my letter, said that he had received and read it and 
that it was an impertinence to write him such a letter. 
He began, in a rather excited way, to announce that it 
was socialism and then to attack the socialists and the 
socialist doctrine. That interested me very much, so I 
stayed and talked with him for a long time and got a 
very fair insight into his theory of the labor movement. 
Later, I continued the investigation and had at least 
one meeting with four or five of the principal union 
officers at the headquarters of the American Federa 
tion of Labor at Washington. 

After I had thoroughly examined the American Fed 
eration of Labor and its processes and purposes, and 
had ascertained beyond question the relation Mr. Gom- 
pers held with the capitalistic and exploiting classes, 
on December 8, 1916, I wrote the following letter to 
Gompers : 

"December 8, 1916. 
"Hon Samuel Gompers, 

"President American Federation of Labor, 

"Washington, D. C. 
"Dear Sir: 

"The position of the American Federation 
of Labor as represented by you is that of 
standing in with the corporations who employ 
labor to secure a part of what labor is entitled 
to and make the corporations divide with or 
ganized labor what they take from the public. 

"You seem to be ignorant of the purpose 
and objects of the Civic Federation and are 
getting acquainted with Professor Commons. 
The only way to make a federation of labor 
effective is to combine all those who are pro 
ducers of wealth in a political organization 
and take charge of the government and then 
administer the government in the interest of 
the rights of man. It is now administered in 
the interests of the rights of property and ad- 

ministered by the men who did not produce 
any of the property, but who have stolen it 
from those who did produce it. 

"I am enclosing you copy of my article on 
the distribution of wealth in the United 
States, also copy of my letter to you of August 
8, 1911. 

"I very much hope that Congress will pass 
the Compulsory Arbitration laws, if that is 
necessary to open your eyes and the eyes of 
the American Federation of Labor as to what 
is going on. Commons is right the Supreme 
Court will hold that it is constitutional. 

"They sent Dred Scott back to .slavery and 
if they will now hold that organized labor can 
be forced to work, whether they want to or 
not, and thus send it back to slavery, you will 
wake up and take possession of the Govern 
ment and Congress and also of the courts. 

"Right after the Dred Scott decision, Lin 
coln made a speech at Cincinnati, using the 
following language with reference to the Su 
preme Court: 

" The people of these United States are the 
rightful masters of both Congress and the 
courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but 
to overthrow the men who pervert the Consti 

"I have wondered if organized labor would 
still refuse to affiliate with the other laborers 
would finally abandon their position as the 
aristocracy of labor that of looking with con 
tempt upon their fellow-workers. I wondered 
if the time will come when you get sufficiently 
jolted .so that you will organize a labor party 
composed of farmers and other producers of 
wealth and take charge of the Government of 
the United States and administer it in the in- 


terests of humanity instead of continuing to 
administer it in the interest of property 
stolen property with organized labor con 
stantly trying to compromise. 

"Your position and the position of organ 
ized labor has been a matter of great aston 
ishment to me for years and I very much hope 
that they will pass the compulsory arbitration 
law, for the extreme measure is necessary to 
jolt organized labor off from the pedestal upon 
which it has been roosting on to the ground 
among its fellow-men. 

"Yours very truly, 


Gompers had always insisted that labor should not 
go into politics, but that they should select from the 
two old parties the good men and vote for them with 
out reference as to whether they are Democrats or 
Republicans, knowing full well that that policy would 
only result in perpetuating the system of universal ex 
ploitation, of which he was one of the representatives. 

The people who produce the wealth and do the work 
in the United States are at least two-thirds of the pop 
ulation. A little over 2,000,000 of the American people 
own all of the wealth that the workers have produced, 
having taken it from the producers through special 
privileges, secured by every conceivable species of chi 
canery, bribery and corruption. Whenever the masters 
meet an opponent who exposes their methods and prac 
tices, and protests against the present economic sys 
tem, they first undertake to buy him by agreeing to 
divide with him the favors which they receive. Failing 
in that, they undertake to destroy him. No man can 
succeed for any length of time politically under our 
system if he exposes the methods of the corporations 
who own all of the great natural resources and artifi 
cial facilities of the United States. 


Soon after the American Federation of Labor was 
organized and Mr. Gompers became its chief, the inter 
ests took him into "camp," as they express it, and for 
mulated for him the arguments and program by which 
he was to handle the American Federation of Labor, so 
that it would be an adjunct of the present economic 
system. Of course .strikes were permitted where the 
men represented by Gompers insisted upon having 
more pay than some of the employers were willing to 
give. Strikes like those of the steel workers in 1919- 
1920 might come and go. It was all one to the big fel 
lows. But whenever the .strike became so widespread 
as to seem dangerous, or when the demands of the men 
were so reasonable that they made a wide public ap 
peal, the smallest possible concessions were made, gen 
erally through the leaders of the strikers to the men. 

, Before making concessions, however, the great com 
binations would undertake to bribe the leaders; would 
/ hire private detectives and use force, if necessary, to 
beat the strikers into submission. In order to justify 
\ the use of force in the eyes of the public, they would 
j send their secret agents among the strikers, advocat 
ing some act of violence which they represented as 
dangerous to the welfare of the workers. They would 
talk violently and excite the men and advise bomb- 
throwing and even murder. Sometimes they even per 
petrated such outrages. Generally the assaults were 
against property, and of course immediately the army 
or the police, or both, were called in to restore law and 

From a close observation of the operations of the 

American Federation of Labor, as conducted by Mr. 

Gompers, I am satisfied that he was a party to the 

methods employed for breaking great strikes, and that 

! the strikes advised by him were manipulated very 

I much more in the interests of the capitalists than in 

the interests of labor. And that is why I wrote in a 

second letter to Mr. Gompers : 


"The only way to make a Federation of 
Labor effective is to combine all those who are 
producers of wealth in a political organization 
and take charge of the Government, and then 
administer the Government in the interests of 
the rights of property and administered by 
the men who did not produce any of the prop 
erty, but who have stolen it from those who 
did produce it." 

Labor has no standing in Congress. Its acknowl 
edged leaders in conjunction with the masters of in 
dustry and finance tie labor hand and foot. The 
American Federation of Labor has been in existence 
forty years (since 1881). During the period of its 
power the position of the American worker has be 
come, on the whole, less, rather than more, advanta 
geous. The big rewards, the great winnings have gone 
to the owners, while the workers have received only 
the crumbs. 

Labor produces the world s wealth. The vast major 
ity of the American people work for their living. Civil 
ization is built upon labor, and labor is civilization. Yet 
the public life of the United States is so organized that 
the workers receive scant consideration, while every at 
tention is paid to the owners of the property. 

All our legislation has been aimed to increase the 
power and promote the interests of those who have, 
as against those who produce. The great question then 
that is presented to the laboring people of the United 
States is: 

Shall the rights of man be superior to the rights 
of property? 

Inasmuch as all property is created by labor, if the 
rights of man are safeguarded by legislation, no laws 
will be required to protect the rights of property in the 
hands of the men who produce it, but under our pres 
ent system the laborer who produces the wealth has 
none of it. He is exploited out of it by the landlord, by 


the corporation which employs him, by the corpora 
tions which furnish him public utilities, by the insur 
ance companies and trust companies which charge 
three times what it is worth to do the business, and 
by the general system of combinations of the parasites 
and idlers of society, who get away from the producers 
of wealth what their labor has created. 

If forty laboring men were shipwrecked upon a dis 
tant island in the ocean, which was practically never 
frequented by ships of commerce, and there were about 
one thousand acres of fertile land upon the island and 
only one spring of pure water, and one of their num 
ber should rush at once to the spring and the thousand, 
acres of land and claim it as his property because he 
saw it first and insist that all the others should pay 
him a portion of their products before they would be 
permitted to raise food upon the land or to drink water 
from the spring, the other thirty-nine people would be 
justified in taking it away from him, and proceeding 
to exercise their natural rights, giving, of course, the; 
greedy usurper the same right which they all possessed 
that of going to work and earning, with the rest of 
them, his own living. 

Of course, the exploiters of labor are always talking 
about the dignity of labor and extolling the laborers, 
and the Labor Day orators men who have never done 
a day s work in their life or produced a dollar s worth 
of wealth of the country will speak of the laborers 
in the highest terms. 

Why then should not the producers of wealth organ 
ize and take possession of the Government and run it 
in the interests of the workers rather than to have it 
run in the interest of the idle few, as at present ? 

It seems to me that it is about time we abandoned 
the barbarous doctrine of "the devil take the hind 
most," and that, instead of universal selfishness and 
competition, we could found a civilization based upon 
the rights of man in the interest of the general welfare 


for all the people. Such a step would raise the mental, 
physical, and moral standard of the population, and 
would be the beginning of a new stage of civilization. 
This work must be done by the laboring classes. It 
will never be done by the beneficiaries of a special 
privilege economic system now existing in the United 



Bit by bit the evidence accumulated under my eyes 
until it constituted a mountain of irrefutable proof 
the public domain .seized and exploited by the inter 
ests and for their private profit; the concentration of 
power in the hands of the bankers ; their manipulation 
of money for their own benefit; the tariff, used as a 
favor granted by Congress for the few to plunder the 
many; the wanton and reckless creation of trusts and 
aggregations of capital; the vast strength of the rail 
roads and other public utility monopolies ; the ferocious 
indifference of these interests to the public welfare and 
to the well being of the masses of the people as I sur 
veyed this evidence I could form only one possible con 
clusion that the power over American public life, 
whether economic, social or political, rested in the 
hands of the rich. 

It is said that in the past, in the days of the Roman 
Empire, when a wealthy Roman wished to build a villa 
he purchased the right to tax and govern a conquered 
province in Asia, and returned to Rome to enjoy his 
fortune. But when an American millionaire wishes to 
build a villa, or buy a title in Europe, he purchases a 
tariff privilege from the Congress of the United States, 
or corrupts a legislature or a city council and secures 
a franchise, and proceeds to rob his neighbors. 

I am of the opinion that the Roman way was the 

Plutocracy is a word that means rule by and for the 
rich. The United States is a country run by and for 
the rich. Therefore, it is a plutocracy. 

The rich few own the United States. The rich few 
who own it direct its public policy. For years these 
facts have been apparent to the discerning. Today 
even the short-sighted may see them quite plainly. 

Real the following letter which Lincoln wrote to 
William P. Elkin on November 21, 1864: 


"I see in the near future a crisis approach 
ing that unnerves me and causes me to 
tremble for the safety of my country. As a 
result of war, corporations have been en 
throned, and an era of corruption in high 
places will follow, and the money power of the 
country will endeavor to prolong its reign by 
working upon the prejudices of the people 
until all the wealth is aggregated in a few 
hands and the republic is destroyed. I feel, at 
this moment, more anxiety for the safety of 
my country than ever before, even in the 
midst of war. God grant that my suspicions 
may prove groundless." 

It has been well said by the famous English writer 
and philanthropist, Mr. Stead, that the modern busi 
ness world has adopted a new Golden Rule as follows: 
"Dollars and dimes, dollars and dimes ; 
To be without money is the worst of crimes. 
To keep all you get, and get all you can, 
Is the first and the last and the whole duty of man." 

That this Golden Rule has been adopted by the so- 
called business men of the United States is evidenced 
by what has been accomplished in the distribution of 
the wealth produced by the great toiling masses of this 

Recently it was announced that John D. Rockefeller 
had finally succeeded in accumulating one billion dol 
lars, thus making him the richest man that ever lived. 

The American people know how he succeeded in accu 
mulating this vast sum. He produced none of it he 
secured all of it by exploiting the American people who 
had produced it. 

The most thrifty of the American people do well if 
they succeed in saving $300 a year above all their ex 
penses, and they must be busy every day in the year 
in order to do that. To accumulate one billion dollars 
at the rate of $300 a year a dollar a day for three hun- 


dred working days a man would have to live and labor 
3,333,333 years. He would have to be older than Methu 
selah he would have to start when the world was hot 
no matter where he ended up. 

But if he was cunning, unscrupulous and religious 
and followed Rockefeller s method of robbing his fel 
low-men, he could get the billion-dollar prize in fifty 

One billion dollars is equivalent to the earnings of 
one hundred thousand men for twenty years, provided 
they earned $500 apiece each year, and during all that 
time leaving nothing out for sickness, death or acci 
dent. The fact that Rockefeller could appropriate the 
earnings of his fellow-men and the fact that he did do 
it is what has caused the social and economic protest 
against the existing system and the cry for justice. 

This great and powerful force the accumulated 
wealth of the United States has taken over all the 
functions of Government, Congress, the issue of 
money, and banking and the army and navy in order 
to have a band of mercenaries to do their bidding and 
protect their stolen property. 

Immediately after the announcement that Rockefel 
ler was worth a billion dollars, Armour & Swift an 
nounced a dividend upon their capital stock of thirty- 
three and one-third per cent and each of these concerns 
increased their capital stock from twenty millions to 
one hundred millions. 

It is safe to say that neither of these concerns had 
any capital stock for which they had paid a dollar. 
Their capital stock represented what they had stolen 
from the people of this country. Their working capital 
is represented by bonds. The eighty millions of stock 
which they have since added is also nothing but water 
and is issued so as to make the annual dividends appear 
smaller. The exploited people will object less to paying 
six or seven per cent on a hundred millions than to 
paying thirty-three and one-third per cent on twenty 
millions. It looks better in print. 


How do Armour and Swift make their money ? They 
are the great packers. They are in collusion. They fix 
the prices they pay the farmer for his hogs and cattle, 
and they fix the prices they will charge the consumer 
for their product. They are simply robbing the pro 
ducer and the consumer, and their robbery is repre 
sented in their great wealth, which they did not pro 
duce but which they took from the people under the 
guise of law. 

When the bill to take the census of 1890 was pending 
before Congress I secured an amendment requiring the 
enumerators to ascertain the distribution of wealth 
through an inquiry into farms, homes and mortgages. 

Using the figures thus secured by the enumerators 
of the census of 1890, on June 10, 1898, I delivered a 
speech in the Senate of the United States on the sub 
ject of the distribution of wealth in the United States 
and, from the census of 1890, I showed that 52 per 
cent of the people of the United States owned S95.00 
worth of property per capita, or S95.00 each of second 
hand clothing and second-hand furniture, and that four 
thousand families owned twelve billions of the wealth, 
and that 6,640,000 families, cr 52 per cent of the popu 
lation, owned three billions of the wealth, or just five 
per cent of the total. 

The facts, as ascertained by the census-takers in 
1890, appear, summarized, in the following table : 

Distribution of Wealth by Census 1890 

Class Families 

Millionaires 4,000 

Rich 1.139,000 

Total Rich 1,143.000 

Middle 4,953.000 

Poor 6,604,000 














Aggregate Per 

Wealth Cent 

$12,000,000,000 20 






Grand Total.... 12,700,000 100.00 $ 4,725 $60,000,000,000 100 


Diagrams Showing, by Percentages, the Population and Wealth 

Distribution in the United States, According to the 

Census of 1890 



Millionaires.. .03 
Rich 8.97 



Middle 39% 

Poor 52% 

Total 100% 




Millionaires.. 20% 
Rich 51% 



Middle 24% 



Total 100% 




It will be seen from these tables, which are compiled 
from the census report of 1890, that 52 per cent of the 
people, or two per cent more than half of them, owned 
but five per cent of the accumulated wealth of the 
United States. The report of the Industrial Commis 
sion which thoroughly investigated the distribution of 
wealth in the United States discloses the fact that, 
after twenty-six years, covering half of the period in 
which Rockefeller and Armour and Swift and the other 
exploiters of the people have accumulated their vast 
fortunes, the number of people who participated in the 
five per cent of the wealth of the United States has in 
creased from 52 per cent of our total population to 65 
per cent. 

I have prepared a diagram illustrating the conclu 
sions reached by the experts of the Industrial Commis- 


sion, which pictures the stupendous inequalities that 
have arisen in the United States during the past 
twenty-six years : 

Distribution of Wealth, Report of Industrial Commission, 1915 


. . 2,000,000 




$ 84,000,000,000 




. . 33,000,000 





Poor . . 

. 65 000,000 





Grand Total. .100,000,000 100% $1,400 
Total Popu- 

$140,000,000,000 100% 

lation of Total Wealth 
.. 100,000,000 $140,000,000,00 


Poor 5% or 









I wish a careful examination of these tables. You 
will see that sixty-five per cent of the people own five 
per cent of the wealth and that t\vo per cent of the pop 
ulation the little black line at the top of the diagram 
own sixty per cent of the wealth. They did not 
produce the wealth. It was all produced by the sixty-five 
per cent of the population who have nothing. They 
were able to do it because they owned the Government 


and the courts and enacted the laws which made it pos 
sible. They have done it through manipulation, com 
bination and exploitation. They have done it through 
corporations. They have done it because they own the 
railroads and the banks and all the public utilities, and 
used them all all of these great important public ser 
vice institutions in order to gather the products of 
everybody s toil into their own hands. In other words, 
they have stolen what others have produced. 

These were the figures for 1916. Since that time 
there have come the war and the panic, with their huge 
crop of millionaires and their further concentration of 
wealth and of economic power. 

But, you may ask, why is it necessary to turn to the 
figures of the Industrial Commission? Why not use 
the census figures ? The answer is very simple. Since 
the publication of the 1890 figures, the plutocrats have 
decided that the facts regarding wealth distribution 
shall not be permitted to get into the hands of the 
American people. 

When I entered the Senate I believed that the ques 
tion of the distribution of wealth was one of the most 
important ones before the American people and one 
that was receiving no attention whatever. While I was 
in the House I had made the personal acquaintance of 
Senator Jones of Arkansas, who was on the Committee 
on Indian Affairs in the Senate, and Senator Berry of 
Arkansas, who was on the Committee on Public Lands 
in the Senate. So that, before the Senate convened in 
December, 1889 when I took my seat in the Senate, I 
had talked with these two Senators about securing 
legislation to ascertain the distribution of wealth in the 
United States. They had entered heartily into the plan 
and we prepared a bill for that purpose,* which was 

* The bill was worded as follows: 

"That a census of the population, wealth and in 
dustry of the United States shall be taken as of the 
date of June 1, 1890. Statutes of the U. S., p. 761, 
March 1, 1899." 


introduced by Senator Berry as an amendment to the 
Census Bill of 1890. The bill attracted little attention 
and was passed practically without opposition, but I had 
great difficulty in getting the persons in charge of tak 
ing the census to go thoroughly into the question. 
Finally, under the head of "Farms, Homes and Mort 
gages," an investigation was made by Holmes and a 
report was issued, I think, about 1898. This report 
showed a remarkable economic condition in this coun 
try and disclosed the fact that 52 per cent of our popu 
lation had five per cent of the wealth they had pro 
duced, and that nine per cent of our population had a 
majority of all the property in this country. I made 
a speech in the Senate upon this subject, going quite 
fully into the question, and in that speech I predicted 
that the number of people who had nothing would 
steadily increase under our system, and that the num 
ber of people who owned a majority of the wealth 
would steadily decrease. 

I considered the question so important that I secured 
a place on the Senate Census Committee to prepare the 
bill for taking the census of 1900. In the committee I 
urged an amendment to the bill for taking the census 
which should go fully into the question of the distri 
bution of wealth in this country, but the committee re 
fused to adopt my amendment or to take any notice of 
the question whatever. Incidentally, the committee 
was composed of lawyers and a lawyer is trained to 
believe that it is the right of property in the hands of 
men who did not produce the property that is sacred, 
and not the rights of man. Or that society has any 
obligation whatever to those who toil. We borrowed 
this from England and it is thoroughly inculcated into 
our whole system of educational and economic life that 
there is nc question but that the lawyers honestly be 
lieve it to be true. After the Census Bill was re 
ported to the Senate I offered my amendment under 
these circumstances : 


(Congressional Record, 56th Congress, 1st Session, 
Jan. 11, 1900, vol. 331, p. 779.) 

Mr. PETTIGREW : "I offer an amendment, which 
I send to the desk." 

ment of the Senator from South Dakota will be 

THE SECRETARY: "It is proposed to add, as 
section 3, the following: 

"Sec. 3. That the Director of the Census 
is hereby required to collect statistics re 
lating to the indebtedness of individuals 
and corporations, public or private; also in 
relation to the distribution of wealth among 
the people of the United States ; also statis 
tics as to the displacement of labor by ma 
chinery, and the increase of the power of 
production by machinery in proportion to 
the number of laborers employed during 
the last thirty years. And for this purpose 
the Director of the Census may employ spe 
cial agents, and such special agents shall 
receive such compensation as other special 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "Mr. President, this amend 
ment is intended to secure statistics with regard to 
the distribution of wealth. It does not require the 
enumerators to gather the statistics on this subject, 
and therefore will not delay the purpose of the law 
which we have passed. 

"We make the Census Bureau, as I understand, a 
perpetual bureau of statistics and information, and 
to fail to gather the information referred to in my 
amendment, it seems to me, would be a very serious 
mistake. The question as to what becomes of what 
the toilers of the land produce, whether it goes to 
them or is taken from them by special privileges, and 


accumulated in the hands of a very few people is a 
very important one and reaches ultimately the ques 
tion of the preservation of free institutions. 

"The other subject in my amendment is with re 
gard to the displacement of labor by machinery and 
the increased power of production thereby. I de 
sire this information for the reason that I believe 
man s power to produce, as the result of the adop 
tion of machinery, has increased many times more 
than the increase of his wages, which should have 
occurred as a result of his increased powers of pro 
duction ; in other words, that the increased power of 
production is the result of machinery and has inured 
to the advantage of capital many times more than 
to the advantage of labor; that this has caused in a 
large degree the unequal distribution of wealth in 
this country; that the increased power of production, 
as the result of machinery, should go to the toiler in 
a much larger degree than to the capital employed ; 
that the power to produce by machinery is a benefit 
to mankind if the increased power to produce goes to 
the toiler, because his power to consume is also in 
creased, and thus the consumption and enjoyment of 
a greater measure of the luxuries and comforts of life 
must go to those who produce the wealth of the land. 

"I therefore believe these two questions are ex 
ceedingly important ; and I have asked that this in 
formation be collected by special agents rather than 
by the enumerators, so that it will not delay a single 
day or a single hour the securing of that information 
which seems to be the prime object of the bill. 

"I hope the additional section I have offered will 
be adopted without objection." 

(Jan. 11, 1900.) 

Mr. TILLM AN : "I will say for the information of 
the Senator from Georgia that if it is not taken with 
the first census it cannot be taken at all, without an 
intolerable additional expense. It is for the Senate 


to determine whether it will enlarge the scope of the 
census. If we break down the barrier erected by the 
Census Committee, we simply, as we were notified 
by the Senator from Misouri (Mr. Cockrell) the other 
day, open up a flood of amendments concerning each 
special class of inquiry any senator may wish to have 

Mr. PETTIGREW : "My amendment provides for 
nothing of the kind. It simply provides that this 
Census Bureau of statistics, which is perpetual, may, 
by special agents, not by enumerators, investigate 
this all-important subject. I think the census would 
be of very little value without it. It is not personal 
to myself, nor a subject that I am particularly or per 
sonally interested in, but it is a great public question. 
The question of the distribution of the wealth of this 
country is certainly a question of more importance 
than almost anything else that can be investigated. 
As the Senator from Colorado (Mr. Teller) has said, 
we have almost day by day a very accurate estimate 
of the population. We have very many other statis 
tics which are constantly being produced by the sta 
tistical bureau, but the question of the distribution 
of the wealth of this country has never been ade 
quately and fairly investigated. It ought to be. 

"I do not propose to delay the taking of the census, 
and my amendment does not delay it at all. It 
simply provides an additional section for the doing 
of this additional work. If the schedules are all 
prepared and the work is disposed of, the enumer 
ators can commence their operations; and therefore 
the Department will have the time to get out addi 
tional schedules for the special agents to do the work 
which I desire to have done. This work cannot 
commence until an appropriation is made. It is quite 
proper, then, that the amendment should be on this 
bill, because section 8 is in the original law, which 
provides a large amount of extra work to be done 


after the main census has been taken through the 
enumerators; and if it was a proper time to provide 
section 8 in the law when it passed last year, it is 
time now for my amendment to be placed on this bill. 
That is all I want. I do not care to discuss it further/* 

The reasons in favor of taking a wealth census 
seemed to me conclusive. Nevertheless, the amend 
ment met with universal opposition, and it was re 

When the census bill was pending to take the cen 
sus of 1910, I wrote to Senator LaFollette and urged 
him to secure an amendment with relation to the dis 
tribution of wealth in this country, but LaFollette is 
a lawyer and he did nothing. I also sent him a state 
ment of the facts in connection with the matter and 
a copy of my speech delivered in 1898 on this sub 
ject, but I was unable to accomplish anything, as the 
Senate was still composed almost entirely of lawyers 
who had represented as attorneys, before they en 
tered the Senate and who still continued to represent 
as attorneys after they entered the Senate, the great 
industrial, financial, transportation and exploiting 

While the census bill to provide for the census of 
1920 was under consideration in both Houses, I went 
to Washington and personally went to the committee 
of both Houses and urged the importance of secur 
ing statistics with regard to the distribution of wealth 
in this country, but neither committee would enter 
tain my proposed amendment or listen with patience 
to any argument. 

In reply to my analyses of the situation, the mem 
bers of the committees insisted that it was not true. 
"Why," said they, "look about you and see the pros 
perity everywhere. How can you say then that the 
wealth of the country is in the hands of the rich?" 

"Well," I answered, "if it is not true, and if the 
Census of 1890, the Industrial Commission, and all of 


the rest of the authorities are wrong, the thing to do 
is to take another wealth census and disprove all of 
their false statements/ Still, I could make no im 
pression on the lawyers who made up both commit 

The Committees of Congress, having the censuses 
of 1910 and 1920 in charge, refused to include in the 
census bills a clause requiring the enumerators to 
ascertain the distribution of wealth, because they, 
as representatives of the plutocracy, did not desire 
the facts to be known. The bulk of the American 
people have little or no wealth ; the economic power 
of the United States is concentrated in the hands of 
the few, and the few are determined to keep the 
many in ignorance as long as they possibly can. 

I have gone into some detail with regard to this 
matter of the wealth census, not so much because of 
its intrinsic importance, but because of its relation 
to otber and similar issues. Again and again, on 
other questions, the same men who refused to gather 
the evidence of wealth concentration have introduced 
and voted for the measures which were drawn up by 
the attorneys of the vested interests for the purpose 
of increasing wealth concentration. 

The economic power of the United States has been 
concentrated in the hands of a very few, and they are 
the Government. They pass the laws that in their 
judgment will protect and defend the property upon 
which their power depends; they secure the appoint 
ment of judges who will interpret and who do inter 
pret this legislation in the interest of the wealth- 
owning classes; control those who execute the laws, 
from the presidents down indeed, for the most part, 
the presidents are lawyers, and either members of 
the plutocracy, or else paid retainers of the plutoc 
racy; they control all of the channels of public opin 
ion the press, the schools, the church ; they control 
the labor unions through the control of their leaders 


and of the policy that the leaders pursue ; possessors 
of the land on which the farmer must work, of the 
mines and the machines with which the laborer must 
work, in order to live, the plutocracy the wealth 
class in the United States is supreme over the af 
fairs of public life. 

Today this economic power is not ashamed to show 
its head and take its place as the master of the 
American Government and as the overlord of the 
American people. They used to talk about the In 
visible Government when I entered the Senate in 
1890, but it is invisible no longer. The real govern 
ment is not in Washington. Its attorneys are there, 
but its responsible directors are in New York and in 
the other great centers of commerce and industry. 
Wealth means power in an industrial civilization, 
and the few, owning the bulk of the wealth of the 
United States, exercise their plutocratic power over 
the lives of the American people, who are forced, 
whether they will or no, to do the bidding of their 
wealth lords. And therefore I say Capital is stolen 
labor and its only function is to steal more labor. 



I have written in some detail of the economic 
changes and of the changes in economic policy that 
have occurred in the United States during the past 50 
years. The first year that I went to Washington 
(1870) the population of Chicago was 298,977; to 
day (1920) it is 2,701,705; the population of Detroit 
was 79,577; today it is 993,739; the population of 
Minneapolis was 13,006; today it is 380,582; the 
population of Dakota was 14,181; today it is 1,281,- 
569. I have watched the Middle West grow from a 
sparsely settled wilderness, the home of Indians and 
of buffaloes, to the greatest center of agriculture and 
of industry in the world. I have watched the public 
domain slip out of the hands of the people, and into 
the hands of speculators, of corporations and of mon 
opolies. I have seen the bankers, the trust magnates 
and the masters of transportation and other forms of 
monopoly rise from obscurity to their present position 
of domination in public affairs. I have watched the 
growth of the plutocracy the few who rule indus 
try, the Government and the press because they are 

In the halls of the Capitol at Washington, I have 
watched these plutocrats, through their representa 
tives on the floor of the Senate and the House, erect 
the governmental machinery that they required for 
the preservation of their power. Step by step and 
move by move I fought the system of imperialism 
which the McKinley administration enabled them to 
establish as the accepted policy of the country. The 
fight lasted twelve years. When it was over, the in 
terests that I had opposed were the triumphant mas 
ters of the field. 

When I entered the Senate, I did not understand 
what it was that I was facing. When I left the 
Senate, because Mark Hanna and the forces behind 


Mark Hanna willed that I should leave, I knew that 
the forms of our government and the machinery of 
its administration were established and maintained 
for the benefit of the class that held the economic 
and political power. 

I realized that the machinery of government had 
been constructed by the ruling economic class to pre 
serve and guarantee its own economic interests. 
Documents like the Constitution, which I, as a child, 
had been taught to regard as almost divine in their 
origin, stood before me for what they were plans 
prepared by business men to stabilize business in 

At the time that our Constitution was drawn up, 
Adam Smith wrote of the government in the "mother 
country" (Wealth of Nations, Book V., Ch. 1, pub 
lished in 1776), "Civil government, so far as it is 
instituted for the security of property, is in reality 
instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, 
or of those who have some property against those 
who have none at all." Again he stated (Book 1, 
Ch. 10) , "Whenever the legislature attempts to regu 
late the differences between masters and their work 
men, its counsellors are always the masters." 

Concerning this same epoch a well-known modern 
historian writes : "During the period we are discuss 
ing (1760-1832) . . . the classes that possessed au 
thority in the State, and the classes that had acquired 
the new wealth, landlords, churchmen, judges, man 
ufacturers, one and all understood by government 
the protection of society from the fate that had over 
taken the privileged classes in France." (The Town 
Laborer, J. L. & B. Hammond, N. Y. Longmans, 
1917, p. 321). It was this government by landlords 
and manufacturers that the framers of the Constitu 
tion knew, and they knew no other. Their idea of 
government was the British idea a machine for pro 
tecting the rich against the poor; a device for safe- 


guarding and defending privilege against the clam 
orous and revolutionary demands of the populace. 
Their goal was the protection of the propertied in 
terests and they drew the Constitution with that end 
in view. 

Furthermore, it was the leading business men of 
the colonists, in their own persons, who drew up the 
Constitution and forced through its ratification. 
"The movement for the Constitution," writes Charles 
A. Beard, the distinguished student of American 
Government, "was originated and carried through 
principally by four groups of personality interests, 
which had been adversely affected under the Articles 
of Confederation money, public securities, manu 
facturers, and trade and shipping." (An Economic 
Interpretation of the Constitution, New York, Mac- 
Millan 1914, p. 324.) These events transpired nearly 
a century-and-a-half ago, and ever since that time 
we have been building up the kind of a government 
that bankers, manufacturers and merchants needed 
for their enrichment. 

This point is so fundamental to a proper under 
standing of what I have to say about the machinery 
of American Government that I desire to emphasize 
it. School teachers talk to children and public men 
harangue their constituents as though the Constitu 
tion were a document drawn to establish human lib 
erty. By these means our ideas as to the intention 
of the framers of the Constitution have been utterly 
distorted. Anyone who wishes to know the facts 
should examine the Journal of the Constitutional 
Convention. There the record is as plain as the road 
at noonday. The Constitution was not drawn up to 
safeguard liberty. Its framers had property rights 
in their minds eye and property deeds in their pock 
ets, and its most enthusiastic supporters were the 
leading bankers, manufacturers and traders of the 
Federated States. 


The Constitution was made to protect the rights 
of property and not the rights of man. 

These facts are neither secret nor hidden. They 
are a part of the public record that may be con 
sulted in any first class library. Properly under 
stood, they furnish the intellectual key that will open 
the mind to an appreciation of many of the most im 
portant events that have occurred in the United 
States during the past century. 

The convention that framed the Constitution of 
the United States convened at Philadelphia in 1787 
behind closed doors. All of the delegates were 
sworn to secrecy. Madison reported the proceedings 
of the convention in longhand and his notes were 
purchased in 1837 by Congress and published by the 
Government nearly half a century after the conven 
tion had finished its work. These notes disclose the 
forces that dominated the work of the convention 
and show that the object which the leaders of the 
convention had in view was not to create a democ 
racy or a government of the people, but to establish 
a government by the property classes in the interests 
of the rights of property rather than the rights of 
man. All through the debates ran one theme : How 
to secure a government, not by the people and for 
the people, but by the classes and for the classes, 
with the lawyers in control. 

Jefferson was not a member of the convention. 
As the author of the Declaration of Independence 
he was not wanted in the convention, and so he was 
sent to France on a diplomatic mission. 

I will give two extracts from these proceedings to il 
lustrate this point ; they are typical, and are as follows : 

Madison (p. 78) quotes Sherman of Connecticut as 
saying: The people should have as little to do as 
may be about the Government. They want infor 
mation and are constantly liable to be misled." 

Again (p. 115) Mr. Gerry is quoted as follows: 


"Hence in Massachusetts the worst men get into the 
legislature. Several members of that body had 
lately been convicted of infamous crimes. Men of 
indigence, ignorance and baseness, spare no pains, 
however dirty, to carry their point against men who 
are superior to the artifices practiced." This is the 
burden of the debates through page after page of the 
two volumes. 

The chief contention in the Constitutional Conven 
tion was over representation in the United States 
Senate. The smaller states feared that they would 
be dominated by the larger ones and, after much de 
bate, it was agreed that each state, no matter what 
its wealth or population, should have two votes in the 
Senate of the United States, while the House of Rep- 
representatives should represent the people and the 
number of delegates from each state should be in 
proportion to the population. As a concession to the 
larger states, a provision was inserted requiring that 
all money bills should originate in the House of Rep 
resentatives, and this was considered important, in 
view of the fact that the states of small area and 
small population, such as Delaware and Rhode 
Island, had an equal voice with large states like Vir 
ginia and Pennsylvania in the Senate of the United 

The southern states believed they had obtained pro 
tection for their peculiar institution (slavery) by secur 
ing representation in the House of Representatives for 
the slave population. At the same time, the southern 
slave-holders and the northern slave-traders combined 
to secure the insertion of a clause (Article 1, Section 
IX, Clause 1) permitting the slave trade to continue 
until 1808. 

At the time of framing the Constitution, and for 
many years thereafter, it was supposed and intended 
that the Senate should represent the states while the 
House represented the people. No vested interest ever 
thought of gaining control of the Senate for the pur- 


pose of advancing the commercial or financial position 
of any combination, corporation or individual. It was 
not until a third of a century after the adoption of the 
Constitution that the southern states began to look 
to the Senate for the protection of their interests and 
to insist upon the admission of a slave state whenever 
a free state asked for admission to the Union. 

The immediate purpose behind the creation of a 
Senate that was not elected by the people, but that 
came from the state legislatures and thus spoke in 
name of states rather than of masses of citizens, was 
the protection of the small colonies against the large 
ones. The interests that dominated both the .small and 
the large colonies, however, were the business inter 
ests. Therefore, this struggle between those who 
wanted one form of Senate and those who wanted an 
other was a struggle between contending and compet 
ing business groups. It was not in any sense a struggle 
between the champions of liberty and the advocates of 
property rights. 

This fact is made evident by an examination of the 
interests of these men who made up the Constitutional 
Convention of 1787. There were fifty-five delegates 
present in the Convention. A majority were lawyers ; 
most of them came from towns; there was not one 
farmer, mechanic or laborer among them; five-sixths 
had property interests. Of the 55 members, 40 owned 
revolutionary scrip ; 14 were land speculators ; 24 were 
money-lenders; 11 were merchants; 15 were slave 
holders. Washington, the big man of the Convention, 
was a slave-holder, land speculator and a large scrip 

Jefferson was in France! 

The Constitution, as framed by the Convention, says 
nothing about the rights of man. It contains no guar 
antee of free speech, of free press, of free assemblage, 
or of religious liberty. It breathes no single hint of 
freedom. It was made by men who believed in the 


English theory, that all governments are created to 
protect the rights of property in the hands of those 
who do not produce it. 

The revolutionary scrip-paper money, to finance the 
Revolutionary War, had been used to pay for supplies 
and to pay the wages of the men that did the fighting. 
In the years that followed the war, this scrip had been 
bought up by the financiers and great land-owners and 
their attorneys for about nine cents on the dollar. The 
Constitution, as adopted, made it worth one hundred 
cents on the dollar. This is but one of the many facts 
which prove that the Constitution, as drawn up by the 
Convention, was made to protect the rights of property 
rather than the rights of man. 

Throughout the document the framers were careful 
to guard against too much democracy. The Govern 
ment was erected in three parts legislative, executive 
and judicial each with a check on the other two. The 
House of Representatives alone was elected directly by 
the people, but all of its legislative acts were subject 
to revision or rejection by the Senate, the members of 
which were to be selected, not by popular vote but by 
the vote of the state legislatures. Thus, even the legis 
lative branch of the Government did not represent the 
popular will. If the legislative branch had been respon 
sible to the people, there were still the President, 
elected, not by the vote of the people, but by the vote 
of electors, who were elected by the people; and, last 
of all, and by no means the least, from the point of view 
of the vested interests, there was the Supreme Court 
its members selected by the President, confirmed by the 
Senate, sitting for life. Over these supreme judges, 
the people could not exercise even an indirect control. 

This was the Constitution drawn up while Thomas 
Jefferson was in France. It was submitted to the states 
for ratification and the states refused to accept it. In 
all probability it never would have been ratified had 
Thomas Jefferson not returned from France and 
thrown his great influence in favor of the first ten 


amendments the Bill of Rights that was added to the 
Constitution by its business backers, as the necessary 
price of its adoption by the people. 
Article I of these Amendments reads : 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an 
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the 
free exercise thereof; or abridging the free 
dom of speech or of the press; or the 
right of the people peaceably to assemble 
and to petition the Government for redress of 

Article IV of the Amendments provides : 

"The right of the people to be secure in 
their persons, houses, paper and effects, 
against unreasonable searches and seizures, 
shall not be violated; and no warrants shall 
issue but upon probable cause, supported by 
oath or affirmation, and particularly describ 
ing the place to be searched, and the persons 
or things to be seized." 

These are the principal guarantees of liberty, in 
serted in the Constitution after the Convention of busi 
ness men had finished its work, and inserted because 
the people insisted upon having them there. 

Even at that, the Constitution is a lukewarm docu 
ment. In it there are no such burning words as those 
written by Thomas Jefferson thirteen years earlier and 
published as the Declaration of Independence: "We 
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are 
created free and equal and are endowed by their Cre 
ator with certain inalienable rights; that among these 
are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to 
secure these rights, governments are instituted among 
men, deriving their just powers from the consent of 
the governed ; that whenever any form of government 
becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of 
the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new 


government, laying its foundations on such principles 
and organizing its power in such form as shall seem 
to them most likely to effect their safety and happi 

It was not until 1861, when Abraham Lincoln deliv 
ered his first inaugural address, that the right of revo 
lution was definitely proclaimed by a responsible states 
man, acting under the Constitution. "This country," 
Lincoln said on that occasion, "with its institutions be 
longs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they 
shall grow weary of the existing government, they can 
exercise their constitutional right of amendment, or 
their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow 

That revolutionary right, so clearly proclaimed in the 
Declaration of Independence and so emphatically stated 
by Lincoln, remains today the avenue left to the Ameri 
can people as a means of escape from the intolerable 
plutocratic tyranny that the Constitution has set up. 

The Constitution is the fundamental law of the 
United States. It was drawn up 134 years ago by a 
convention consisting of business men and their lawyer- 
retainers. It was a document designed to protect prop 
erty rights, and, through the century and a quarter 
that it has endured, it has served its purpose so well 
that it stands today, not only as the chief bulwark of 
American privilege and vested wrong, but as the great 
est document ever designed by man for the safeguard 
ing of the few in their work of exploiting and robbing 
the many. 



The Constitution of the United States was made by 
business men. The work of managing and directing 
the government machinery that has been erected in 
pursuance of the Constitution has been placed almost 
exclusively in the hands of lawyers, who sit in the leg 
islatures and make the laws ; sit in the executive chairs 
and enforce the laws, and sit on the bench and interpret 
the laws. 

Lawyers dominate the city, state and national gov 
ernments to an astonishing degree. In one sense, they 
are the Government, at least in so far as manipulating 
its machinery is concerned. The lawyers have become 
a governing caste in the United States. Their official 
position is out of all proportion to their number. 

The total number of "lawyers, judges and justices," 
as given in the census of 1910 (the latest one available 
at this writing) was 114,704. The same volume of the 
census reports that there were more than 38,167,000 
gainfully occupied persons in the United States. That 
would make three lawyers for each 1,000 of the gain 
fully occupied population. Therefore, if the lawyers had 
their proportional share of the governing positions, 
they would get less than one-third of one per cent of 
the Government jobs. 

The actual situation is far different. In the affairs 
of government particularly of the Federal Govern 
ment the lawyer plays a leading part. He is only one 
one-three-hundredth of the gainfully occupied popula 
tion, but he is the majority of those upon whom falls 
the duty of making and enforcing the laws. 

Take the situation in the Federal Congress. There 
has never been a time during the fifty years that I 
have known Washington when the lawyers constituted 
less than half of the membership of both houses of 
Congress. Usually, they made up two-thirds of the 
membership. The proportion varies, but the principle 
holds. The present Congress (the 65th) reports in the 


House 263 lawyers out of a total of 388 who gave their 
occupations. (No occupations were given for 47.) In 
the Senate, there are 60 lawyers out of a total of 89 
Senators who reported their occupations. The census 
shows that the lawyers constitute only three in every 
thousand of the gainful population. In the Senate, they 
are in the proportion of 674 per thousand; and in the 
House in the proportion of 677 in the thousand. Thus, 
two-thirds of our national law-makers are lawyers. 

The same thing holds true of our Presidents. Since 
the United States has become a government by the 
corporations, their presidential candidates have almost 
invariably been lawyers. Harrison, as President, was a 
a lawyer, and reputed to be a good one. He had been 
preceded in that high office by Grover Cleveland, a 
lawyer 1 rom Buffalo, New York. Harrison was fol 
lowed by Cleveland. Cleveland was followed by another 
lawyer McKinley, who was elected and assassinated, 
and thus Theodore Roosevelt, who was his Vice-Presi 
dent, and not a lawyer, accidentally became President. 
He was succeeded by another lawyer, Taft, who was 
not a good lawyer. He had neither the judgment nor 
the ability to make a good lawyer, and he was therefore 
a very satisfactory representative of the predatory and 
exploiting corporations which, during all of my time in 
public life, have been the real force in control of the 
Government. Taft was followed by Wilson, a lawyer, 
and after his eight years the people elected Harding, 
another lawyer giving him a plurality of more than 
six million of votes. 

There is no question of party politics involved. Of 
all the Presidents that I have known, two were Demo 
crats (Cleveland and Wilson) ; the rest were Republi 
cans. With the exception of Roosevelt, all of them 
since Garfield and including Garneld have been 

The lawyers have an even hiorher percentage among 
the successful presidential candidates than they have 
among the members of Congress. 


When it comes to the courts, the whole field is in the 
possession of the lawyers, who have built up a system 
of exalting the law above everything else in the land 
life, happiness and liberty included. They have worked 
out a "precedent" under which no one may become a 
judge unless he has previously been a lawyer. As a 
matter of practical fact, it is not necessary that a judge 
should be a lawyer. On the contrary, a lawyer trained 
under the present system is not fit to be a judge, but 
the thing has been worked out in such a way that all 
of the judges are lawyers. 

The position of the lawyers in the Government is ab 
surd in view of their small numerical importance. 
There are only a little more than a hundred thousand 
of them in a country of more than a hundred millions, 
yet they make up more than two-thirds of the member 
ship of both houses of Congress; the majority of the 
state legislatures; most of the governors; all of the 
prosecuting attorneys ; most of the Presidents, and all 
of the judges. The lawyers enact the laws; interpret 
the laws and enforce the laws. The Government is a 
lawyer-government, and we are a lawyer-ridden coun 

Then there comes a question. If the business men 
of the United States run the Government, as I have 
asserted that they do, how comes it that they are will 
ing to let the lawyers hold all of the important public 

The answer to that question is very simple : Because 
the lawyers do it so well ! 

If the lawyers failed to do what the business men 
want done, the business men would soon put an end to 
their domination of the political machinery. The law 
yers know that as well as the business men. But the 
lawyers are kept in their present position because they 
are such splendid representatives of the predatory in 
terests. A lawyer, by his training and by his practice, 
is calculated to serve the ruling class of the country, 
and, where the rulers can get able servants, there is 


no reason why they should do the work themselves. 
They have ample resources. They can afford to pay, 
and with the lawyers at hand to do their work they are 
as well served as though they served themselves. The 
lawyers are not experts in government, but in debauch 
ing and corrupting and crippling the Government in the 
interest of those who pay them their fees. So here 
they sit, in the legislatures, in the executive offices and 
on the bench, running the Government in the interest 
of those who are plundering the people. 

Business interests support and finance their lawyer 
handy-men because these lawyers are able to do wha ; 
the business w r orld wants done. The lawyers have been 
developed into a class of professional manipulators and 
wreckers of Government machinery because they are 
trained from the outset to regard the interests of their 
clients as of greater moment than the public interest. 

A man, to become a good lawyer, must have spent his 
life studying "precedent." What is precedent but the 
preservation of the ,status quo, and what is the status 
quo but the wisdom of yesterday ? The good lawyer is 
therefore the lawyer who is able to preserve the shadow 
of yesterday and use it to darken the sunlight of today. 

The good lawyer, to educate himself, pores over the 
Common Law of England. When his head is filled with 
seventeen hundred decisions handed down by judges 
who lived in the seventeenth century, before the Amer 
ican Colonies found the British rule intolerable, he fills 
up the chinks of his mind with Blackstone and with 
Kent s Commentaries. He then studies what the judges 
(lawyers) of the United States <said during the past 
hundred years, and after that he is considered as pre 
pared to defend the interests of the exploiters of 

This precedent-fed human being is valuable to the 
great interests for three reasons : 

First, because his study of precedent has rendered 
him incapable of thinking into the future and has thus 
made him a natural protector of things as they are ; 


Second, because the tradition of property rights in 
herited from the past can best be preserved through 
such a class of "dead-hand" experts ; 

Third, because the lawyer, under the ethics of his 
profession, is the only man who can take a bribe and 
call it a fee. 

The real work of the world is done by those who en 
visage the future and prepare for it. Such an ability is 
the first essential in a statesman, or in any other per 
son who assumes to play a role in the direction of 
human affairs. The lawyer finds it virtually impossible 
to look ahead. He has been trained to move forward 
with his eyes over his shoulder. 

Any ruling class, depending for its profits on some 
special privilege, like the ownership of land or of ma 
chinery, must see to it that these special privileges are 
not interfered with, otherwise its .source of profit may 
be destroyed. At one time, under the Feudal System, 
it was the church that acted as the policeman for the 
landlord, keeping the tenants quiet with threats of dire 
punishment in the hereafter in case they interfered 
with the sacred person or with the still more sacred 
property of their overlords. That function, at the pres 
ent time, has been taken over by the lawyers, who 
threaten the penalties of criminal codes and of Espi 
onage Acts for those who transgress the sacred pre 
cincts in which the property of their clients is enclosed. 

All of this work is done by the simple method of al 
lowing one man for himself and for his heirs, forever, 
certain corner lots and choice quarter-sections without 
which his fellows cannot continue to make a living. The 
world marches by his door and, for the privilege of so 
doing, it pays the property-holder his rent. 

The lawyer has studied the precedents established 
by the land-holding aristocracy of Great Britain. From 
them he has derived the "common law," and to that 
he has added tens of thousands of pages of .statutes 
which are designed to perfect the system the land- 


holding aristocracy of Great Britain has worked so 
hard to establish. 

The traditions of English civilization are traditions 
of wealthy land-holders and manufacturers and bank 
ers, on the one hand, and an overworked, exploited 
population of laborers on the other. No one who has 
seen the condition of the British workers can have any 
delusions as to the terrible way in which they have suf 
fered under the "property-first" system of British so 
ciety. It is this system that is being perpetuated in 
the United States, by means of the Constitution, the 
laws, the courts and the lawyers, who are the handy 
men of big business, in control of every important 
branch of the public service. 

The lawyer makes a good servant of the ruling class 
because he spends his life making the world believe 
that the property rights are more important than the 
human rights. Again, he is useful because he may be 
bribed at almost any stage of his public career, and may 
accept the bribe without losing his professional self- 

During the twelve years that I was a member of the 
United States Senate, more than two-thirds of the 
members of both houses were lawyers, and those in 
the Senate were generally old lawyers who had spent 
their lives in the service of the great interests. So far 
as I know, these lawyers, in both Houses, never hesi 
tated to take a fee from any interest that wished to 
employ them. They satisfied their consciences by as 
suring themselves and their friends that no matter 
what the size of the fee it did not influence their actions 
as lawmakers. 

I know personally of one Senator who received a fee 
of $49,000 for representing one of the greatest of the 
industrial combinations in a case before a Federal 
court. This man was as honest a lawyer as I ever 
knew. His vote could not have been purchased for any 
consideration; yet after he had received the $49,000 
fee, if a question had come up which involved the inter- 


ests of that corporation, or which was in the nature of 
an attack upon it, it is useless to insist that the thought 
of the fee would not have had at least some influence in 
determining what he should do and how he should vote. 

Senator Edmunds of Vermont was chairman of the 
Committee on the Judiciary during the twelve years 
that I was a member of the United States Senate. 
He reported the Sherman Anti-Trust Law from that 
Committee. Afterward, the United States Govern 
ment began a suit against the Joint Traffic Associa 
tion, which was a combination of thirty-two railroads 
running west from New York, on the ground that 
that combination was in violation of the Sherman 
Anti-Trust law, the suit having been started before 
Judge LaComb, the Circuit Judge of the District of 
New York. The judge announced from the bench 
that he was disqualified from hearing the case be 
cause he was the owner of the stocks and bonds of 
the defendant railroad, and he said, in open court, 
that he believed every judge in the circuit was suf 
fering from a like disqualification. The railroads 
had put their attorneys on the bench. It was finally 
found that Judge Wheeler, just appointed through 
the influence of Senator Edmunds, from the State of 
Vermont, was not the owner of stocks and bonds in 
the defendant railroads, and the railroads thereupon 
employed Edmunds to go before this judge a crea 
ture of his and tell the judge that the Sherman 
Anti-Trust Law was not being violated. 

No one knows how big a fee Edmunds received, 
but it created no comment, for it is now well under 
stood that a lawyer can be bought and call the pur 
chase price of his opinions and convictions a fee. 

In the case of Foraker, of Ohio, and Senator Bailey, 
of Texas, the amount of money paid them by the 
Standard Oil Company was so large, and the trans 
action was so under cover, that it excited no great 
amount of comment until the newspapers took it up, 


and then the matter became so scandalous that the 
public thought it best to call a halt. 

These are only illustrations. It is a universal prac 
tice among the lawyers of both Houses to take a fee 
from the industrial combinations whenever they can 
get it, and they boast among their fellow members 
if the fee is big enough to be worth while. 

This was the practice during the whole twelve 
years that I was in the Senate. 

From what I have said about the training of law 
yers it must be apparent that a lawyer cannot be a 
statesman. First, because he is trained to look back 
ward rather than forward and, second, because in 
order to be a statesman it is necessary to have some 
appreciation of the general welfare, and the lawyer 
can only represent his clients and assist them to pro 
tect and defend property rights. 

How is it possible to produce statesmen under the 
conditions that prevail in the United States, or in any 
of the other great capitalist countries for that mat 
ter? Under the system the land, the resources, the 
means of transportation and the money power are 
handed over to the favored few. They manipulate 
the Government, through their agents, the lawyers, 
and thus the machinery that should be employed to 
feed and care for the people is employed for the en 
richment of the few at the expense of the many. It 
is the lawyers who have acted as the go-between. 
They have drawn the papers under which the riches 
of the nation have been placed in the hands of a 
few, who hold legal commissions that enable them 
to rob the many. Under these circumstances, it is 
not the general welfare that is uppermost in the 
minds of those responsible for the direction of public 
affairs, but the manipulation of public business in 
such a way as to add still more to the power of those 
who hold the special privileges of the nation. 

It is only in England and in the United States that 


the people have been satisfied to build up a ruling 
class the lawyers and to put into their hands all 
branches of the Government. 

The people of Russia have provided in their con 
stitution that every person over eighteen years of age 
can vote if they are engaged in some useful employ 
ment, and have thus, in my opinion, disfranchised the 
lawyer, for a lawyer spends the first half of his life 
over the past, and the last half of his life trying to 
apply the past to the present, and lets the future go 
to hell ; and I submit this is not a useful occupation. 

Lawyers should be excluded from the bench and 
from every legislative assembly. A well-trained law 
yer is unfitted for doing anything else except defend 
ing the cases that he is hired to defend, and he 
should be compelled to stick to that. Above all, he 
should not be entrusted with any share in the direc 
tion of public affairs. 



Like most American boys I had been brought up 
to believe that the United States had a government 
of the people, by the people and for the people. My 
first real impressions to the contrary were obtained 
during my early experiences with Dakota politics. 
There I learned how the machinery of government is 
manipulated in the interest of those who are behind 
it and I learned something about the manipulator,^ 

"Carpet-bag officials," as we used to call them, 
held the important offices in Dakota, while it was 
still a territory. The governors and other territorial 
officers were appointed by the President and con 
firmed by the Senate at Washington. Frequently 
these appointees lived thousands of miles from the 
territory in which they were appointed to serve anil 
in many instances they had never set foot in these 
territories until they arrived to take up their official 

A territory is entitled to a "delegate" in the House 
of Representatives. The delegate has a seat, but no 
vote. He may sit on the floor; listen to the phrase- 
makers of the House; watch the proceedings; intro 
duce bills; appear before committees to urge the in 
terests of his territory and perform such committee 
work as the House may choose to assign. The dele 
gate may also advise as to the appointment of local 
people such as postmasters and, in some instances, 
if he is in political sympathy with the President, he 
may secure the appointment of a citizen of the ter 
ritory to a Federal post such as the land office. That, 
however, is very unusual. 

In 1880 I was nominated for the position of dele 
gate by the Republicans of the territory of Dakota, 
which at that time embraced what are now the two 
states of North and South Dakota. It had an area 
of about 150,000 square miles, with about 30,000 or 
35,000 Indians included in its population. When I 


went to Dakota in 1869 there were only 14,000 peo 
ple in the whole territory outside of the Indian popu 
lation, but in 1880 railroads were building all over 
Dakota and the population was increasing with great 
rapidity. After my nomination, I entered actively 
into the campaign, visiting the small towns and mak 
ing speeches. 

Meanwhile President Hayes had appointed as gov 
ernor of the Territory of Dakota a citizen of New 
Hampshire named N. G. Ordway. During the sum 
mer preceding the election, Ordway came out to Da 
kota and took possession of the office. Ordway had 
been for twenty-years Sergeant-at-Arms of the House 
of Representatives, but in 1878, when the Democrats 
got control of the House, he was ousted from his 
position. Bill Chandler, who was factotum of the 
Republican Party for New Hampshire, secured Ord- 
way s appointment as Governor of Dakota so that 
he might go out there, have the state admitted into 
the Union and then become one of the Senators. I 
watched the Governor s actions with a great deal of 
interest. His attitude towards the people of Dakota 
was extremely patronizing, and he talked about the 
people of Daktoa as though, in his eyes, they were 
simply children entitled to his benevolent considera 
tion. I soon found out that he was preparing to 
carry out the political program that had been 
mapped out for him. For example, he was reported 
as being engaged in filling a car with the products 
of Dakota with the idea of sending it through the 
eastern States as a means of inducing the emigrants 
or settlers to come out to Dakota and enter lands on 
the public domain. 

Finally he announced that he had arranged with 
the railroads to carry this car without charge and 
had selected certain Dakota citizens to accompany 
it. It was also stated that the Governor had se 
cured some of the very finest samples of corn, pump- 


kins, oats and other agricultural products from west 
ern Iowa and eastern Nebraska, placed them in the 
car and proposed to represent them as the products 
of Dakota. When questioned about this he said, "Of 
course, Dakota is new, and agriculture is not far ad 
vanced, but we all know that we can produce just 
such products, and therefore it is proper to repre 
sent that we have produced them, in order to induce 
the settlers to come to Dakota and enter land." And 
this episode disgusted me, and in some of my 
speeches I made fun of the Governor s antics and 
alluded to him as the "Siox Chief/ because having 
pronounced the word "Sioux" as Siox, and alluded 
to the town in which I lived as "Siox Falls." 

After the campaign was over I went to Yankto:i 
on some business, and Newton Edmunds, who had 
been Governor of Dakota before I went to the Ter 
ritory, and who in 1880 was a banker at Yanktor, 
called on me at my hotel and advised me to see Gov 
ernor Ordway before I left town. Edmunds told me 
that the Governor was very much offended at the al 
lusions I had made in my speeches, and had said that 
unless I came and apologized, he would not issue 
my certificate of election as a delegate in Congress. 

I immediately told ex-Governor Edmunds, he was 
a man of excellent parts, of fair ability and strict 
integrity, that if that was Ordway s attitude I 
would rather reaffirm what I had said about him, and 
that under no circumstances would I call upon him, 
but would leave it for him to decide whether to per 
form his duty as Governor and issue the certificate of 
election, or to betray his office in order to punish a 
political rival. I added that I rather thought his 
failure to perform his duty would not keep me from 
getting my seat in the House of Representatives. 
Before the 4th of the following March, when I would 
take my seat in the House, I received my certificate 
of Election from the Governor without comment, but 


J was told by friends in Yankton that the Governor 
remarked when he issued the certificate that he 
guessed I might as well have it, as I would not 
amount to anything in Washington ; I would be noth 
ing but a wall flower, he said, while he w r ould 
control the patronage ordinarily granted to a dele 
gate from a territory. When I finally reached Wash 
ington, I found that South Dakota Post Office ap 
pointments were being made on the Governor s re 
commendation. At least one had been confirmed at 
an Indian Agency. I at once insisted that the Post 
master General remove Ordway s appointee and put 
in his place a man whom I recommended. The 
Postmaster General was reluctant to do this be 
cause Ordway had been very prominent in republi 
can politics and knew all of the leading men in the 
nation. He had also been the representative of the 
predatory interests, the railroads, the public utilities 
generally, the contractors, etc., about Washington, 
and he had acted, while Sergeant-at-Arms, as their 
go-between in the purchase of votes and the control 
of the lawyers who made up the bulk of members 
in the House of Representatives. Of course, the 
"bribe" always took the form of a "fee." Because 
of his intimate acquaintance with their deals, Ord 
way was feared by the politicans, and the Postmaster 
General finally refused to comply with my request. 

The Post Office Department relies upon a delegate 
to recommend certain things that should be done in 
the territory that he represents, and I told the Post 
master General that I certainly would take no part 
whatever in trying to promote and protect the in 
terests of the Government with regard to mail routes, 
etc., or ever visit his department again unless I was 
accorded the full recognition which belonged to a 
delegate, and so the matter rested until Congress 
convened. When Congress met I went to Senator 
Platt, of New York, with whom I was well acquainted, 


told him of the controversy that had arisen over 
South Dakota patronage between N. G. Ordway, as 
governor and me as delegate and asked him to have 
the Postmaster General recognize me as the Repre 
sentative of Dakota instead of N. G. Ordway. Platt 
at once said, "Yes, you are entitled to that recogni 
tion. The Postmaster General is from my State. I 
suppose I endorsed him for the position, but Ordway 
has been to see me about this matter and he is a very 
powerful factor in Republican politics, besides beirg 
very competent as a political manipulator. Now, 
you are a young man and he is a man of great ex 
perience; why don t you get together?" I told Sen 
ator Platt that was very difficult because of the Gov 
ernor s statement that he would not issue my certi 
ficate of election unless I would apologize to him for 
what I had said about him, my reply was that I would 
never do it. 

In a day or two, however, Senator Platt asked if 
I would receive and talk with the Governor if he 
called upon me. I told him I would, and thereupon 
I made an appointment through Senator Platt for 
Ordway to see me at my hotel the next evening. 

The Governor arrived in due time, I took him to 
my room and he opened the conversation by saying 
that he was an old and experienced politician and 
had been in public life for many years; that I was a 
young man just starting out, but that I gave great 
promise for the future, and that he was anxious to 
form a political alliance with me to take control of 
the political affairs of the Territory of Dakota. He 
then proceeded, by way of argument and advice, to 
say that if I would consult him about all my appoint 
ments as delegate he would consult with me about 
his appointments as governor, and that by thus com 
bining our influence and working in harmony, we 
could become so strong and influential as to elect 


each other to the United States Senate, when the ter 
ritory of Dakota was admitted as a state. 

After he had completed his argument I said, "Gov 
ernor, this is the first time I have ever met you. I 
was not impressed by what I knew of you before this 
meeting. We are here with the idea of perfecting 
some kind of an alliance by which we can work in 
political harmony. As things stand now, that would 
be very difficult. I have a suggestion, however. 
Suppose you go back to Dakota and attend to your 
duties as governor, while I look after the duties of 
my office here, in such a way as to promote the wel 
fare of the people of Dakota. If you will do that, 
and use your office to promote the interests of South 
Dakota and its people, without consulting me at all, 
you will become so popular with the people and so 
strong politically that you will easily be the most 
prominent man in the territory. If you make a good, 
honest and capable Governor, and I make a good, 
honest and capable delegate in Congress, the time 
will not be distant when we will naturally work to 
gether, our common purpose being the welfare of 
the people." 

The governor did not take to that advice. He had 
never done anything that way and probably did 
not understand what I meant. He seemed to con 
clude that I talked that way because I wanted to 
make money, so he started on another tack. 

"You know," said Ordway, "I, as Governor, have 
the right to appoint the Commissioners of every new 
county that is organized. These commissioners can 
locate the county seat of the county, and therefore 
there is always great competition among the citi 
zens of a county to secure these appointments so 
that they can locate the county-seat town. You 
know there are a great number of new counties be 
ing organized every year all over Dakota. Now, if 
you and I will go in together, we can so manipulate 


the organization of these counties as to get part of 
the land upon which the county-seat is located, or 
else we can make the people pay high who have 
land on which they want the county seat located. 

"Besides that, there is something even bigger. 
People want a new capitol city for the territory. By 
uniting together we might easily arrange to move the 
capitol from its present location at Yanktown to 
some more central location, and make a fortune out 
of building the new city." 

I let the Governor go on developing his whola 
scheme, together with his method of achieving it. 
He seemed very enthusiastic and acted as though ha 
were well satisfied with himself and with the impres 
sions that he had made. But when he had finished, 
I said : "The Territory of Dakota is about 400 miles 
square, but it is altogether too small for both of us. 
Either you will have to get out of it or I will. I will 
never have anything to do with you but will fight you 
as long as you remain in the territory. You are th<> 
most miserable corrupt scamp that in my brief career 
I have ever come in contact with." 

The next morning I called on Senator Platt and 
told him, in detail, just what had occurred. Platt 
made no comment except to say that he would have 
the Postmaster removed that Ordway had had ap 
pointed, and would ask the Postmaster General to 
put in whomever I recommended. 

Upon inquiring with regard to the Governor and 
his career as Sergeant-at-Arms at the House, I found 
that when the Democrats had got control in 1878 and 
had removed Ordway from the position as Sergeant- 
at-Arms, they had appointed a Committee to investi 
gate the conduct of the office of Sergeant-at-Arms 
under Ordway s regime. The conduct of the investi 
gation was in the hands of Glover, who, I think, was 
from Missouri. I thereupon secured from Glover a 
copy of the testimony taken by the Committee and 


of the report that the Committee had made to the 
House. The testimony showed that Ordway was the 
person who carried the funds that were used to per 
suade the members of the House to grant privileges 
to the few in order that they might rob the many. 
That custom has been continued ever since at Wash 
ington in both Houses of Congress. While I was in 
the Senate, Aldrich of Rhode Island, who was Sen 
ator, held this important post. He died worth, I be 
lieve, twenty millions. Others have done similar 
work. There always are in Washington certain 
agents of big business, employed to look after the 
attorneys in both houses who are there to represent 
the great industrial, financial, and transportation cor 
porations the real government. 

I also wrote the Chairman of the House Committee 
that investigated Ordway and he sent me the following 
letter which I published with a copy of the testimony 
taken by the Committee: 

"La Grange, Mo., July 24, 1881. 
"Hon. R. F. Pettigrew, M. C. 
"My Dear Sir: 

"Your letter of the 17th came duly to hand. 
You refer to N. G. Ordway, ex-sergeant-at- 
arms of the house of representatives, and at 
present governor of Dakota territory, and ask, 
If he ever answered the damaging evidence 
taken before your (my) committee to your 
(my) satisfaction. I answer emphatically, 
No ! It was impossible for him to make sat 
isfactory answer. I have no hesitancy in 
giving it as my opinion, in view of all the evi 
dence developed against him, that he is one 
of the most corrupt and unprincipled men 
that ever disgraced and degraded the public 
service of this country- I am convinced that 
he never sought or held an office with a view 


of being satisfied with its honors and its legi 
timate emoluments, but to prostrate it to the 
worst jobbery and fraud for money making. 
"It would seem simply impossible for N. G. 
Ordway to hold an official position and not 
taint and disgrace it. He belongs to a class 
of office seekers that infest this country now 
by thousands, that should be doomed to de 
struction by the efforts of all honest men of 
all parties. I am, sir, very respectfully your 
obedient servant, 

"J. M. GLOVER." 

Had the Republicans continued in power, Ordway 
would have continued to operate in the House. 
When the Democrats came in, they decided to have 
one of their own men do his work. Consequently 
they staged an investigation which cost Ordway his 
job in the House, but which, far from destroying 
his public career, left him free to launch new schemes 
among the men on the frontier. 

After our meeting in Washington Ordway went 
back to Dakota and tried his hand at being governor. 
He entered into a scheme to move the capitol, and 
secured the passage through the Legislature of a bill 
establishing a Capitol Commission to go about and 
receive bids for the location of the capitol and its 
removal from Yankton. His purpose, of course, was 
to locate the capitol somewhere in about the center 
of the southern half of Dakota. Alexander McKin- 
?ey, who lived in Bismarck, in the center of the north 
half of the Territory, was a person having very many 
times the ability of Ordway and was far his superior 
in integrity, a man of very many powerful parts. 
He had managed to capture Ordway s Capitol Com 
mission and to locate the capitol at Bismarck, which 
is now the capitol of North Dakota. 

Ordway got nothing out of that scheme, but he 
was actively organizing new counties all over Dakota 


and the air was full of rumors of scandals. Finally, 
he received $10,000 in money to appoint a Commis 
sioner in a county where the county-seat location 
was of considerable importance. This performance 
was so scandalous and barefaced that he was in 
dicted for bribery and corruption by a Grand Jury 
of one of the counties, and his case came up before 
Territorial Judge Edgerton, who had been appointed 
through the influence of Senator Davis of Minnesota. 
Edgerton was an honest man more honest than is 
the rule among lawyers. I do not believe he could 
have been persuaded by money to violate his judicial 
oath or do any act not in strict accordance with the 
duties of his office. 

The Governor was evidently very much alarmed. 
He employed Senator Davis, of Minnesota, who had 
been responsible for having Edgerton appointed 
judge, to defend him. Davis was not a criminal 
lawyer, but in those days the fee of $10,000, which 
Ordway offered Davis, was rather tempting, so Davis 
went out to Dakota when the case was called, and 
told the judge that it should be dismissed because 
the only punishment that could be meted out for 
crimes committed by a Governor was an impeach 
ment and removal from office. The judge ruled that 
such was the law and the case against Ordway was 
dismissed. The episode convinced Ordway that 
even 160,000 square miles of territory was too small 
an area for both of us to live on and so he left 
Dakota and came back to Washington. 

However, in 1882 Ordway made the greatest fight 
of his life to defeat me for the Republican nomina 
tion for delegate in Congress. North and South 
Dakota were already divided as the people of each 
half had come to believe that when Dakota ceased 
to be a territory it would be admitted as two separate 
states into the Union. In this campaign North Da 
kota put up a candidate, John B. Raymond, who was 


the United States Marshal, a young man of excellent 
principles, who had been appointed by the President 
and sent out from some eastern state. Raymond 
carried most of the Counties of North Dakota, and 
they endorsed him for my position. 

In South Dakota Ordway put up George B. Hand, 
from Yankton, who had been Secretary of the Ter 
ritory. He was a man of ordinary intelligence, but 
he always agreed with everybody and was affable 
and suave. Hand made a poor showing. I carried 
almost every county in South Dakota and I had an 
overwhelming majority of the whole territory, but 
Ordway contested nearly every county that I carried. 
He did not try to contest the county in which I lived 
or the adjoining counties east and west of where I 
lived. He contested Moody County where my 
brother lived, although there were not over three 
members of the county convention against me, but 
those three felt that they had been beaten by fraud. 
The same practice was pursued in almost all the 
counties of South Dakota, so that the uncontested 
delegates from South Dakota, who were controlled 
by Ordway, united with those which Raymond had 
from North Dakota and made a majority in ths pre 
liminary organization of the Convention. They then 
selected a committee on credentials, a majority of 
whose members were my political enemies. That 
committee proceeded to seat all of the contesting 
Ordway delegates, knowing that my delegates would 
immediately form another convention and nominate 
me. This would have split the Republican party 
of the Territory into three parts and would have 
resulted in the selection of a Democrat. 

I went to their candidate, John B. Raymond, from 
North Dakota, and said to him, "You know that Ord 
way is not a friend of yours, and that if he gets con 
trol of this convention he will not nominate you, 
although you have united with him against me as a 


common enemy. Now if you will agree to have the 
Committee on Credentials seat the delegates who are 
elected and were fraudulently contested, I will go 
into the convention and withdraw as a candidate in 
your favor." 

"If I do/ Raymond replied, "you will have a ma 
jority of the whole convention and can proceed to 
nominate yourself." "Of course," I said, "you will 
have to take my word for that." 

"Well," said Raymond, "if you will have McKinsey 
guarantee that you will do as you say and McKin- 
sey is the most prominent man in Republican politics 
in North Dakota and is my friend I will take your 
promise and McKinsey s guarantee and do as you 

McKinsey promptly agreed to the arrangement 
and I then assembled all of my delegates in a room at 
Grand Forks, a little town in North Dakota where 
the Convention was held, and told them what I had 
offered to do. 

"In the interests of harmony," I told them, "and 
for the purpose of rebuking this corrupt carpet-bag 
Governor, I think it is the wise thing to do." 

They were unanimous in accepting my view of the 

"All of you who were contested will be seated," I 
said, "and we will take control of the party ma 
chinery, but the success of the scheme depends upon 
our keeping it to ourselves. Now, there are 140 of 
you fellows. I don t believe there is a man among 
you who will tell." 

They promised that they would not say anything 
and that they would carry it out. 

The Committee on Credentials submitted their re 
port to the Convention, with a minority report, in 
favor of seating my delegates. When the vote was 
taken, the North Dakota delegates voted unani 
mously in favor of the minority report. County after 


county, as the roll was called, voted this way. Ord- 
way himself came into the Convention, in great ex 
citement, and rushed among the delegates, exclaim 
ing, "You are voting wrong; you don t understand 
what you are doing; you are voting for the wrong 
report." But he made no impression. 

After the vote was announced, I arose in the Con 
vention and said, "In the interests of harmony and 
to prevent the disrupting of the Republican party 
in Dakota, I conclude that it is best for me to with 
draw from the contest. I therefore do so and I nom 
inate John B. Raymond as delegate to Congress and 
thus rebuke the miserable, contemptible and fraudu 
lent scheme which had been perpetrated by our car 
pet-bag Governor, the Siox Chief. 

The plan worked perfectly. Not a single one of 
the hundred and forty delegates had told what was 
to be done, and the Ordway crowd had no chance to 
prepare a counter offensive. Raymond was almost 
unanimously nominated as territorial delegate to 
Congress. Of course, a majority of my friends were 
placed on each of the party committees selected 
for the Country, and my friends were selected as 
chairmen in all cases. Ordway had had some mea 
sure of revenge. I lost my place in Congress, but 
gained control of the Party. The episode lost him 
both standing and popularity. 

This story of political intrigue in a sparsely settled 
mid-western territory is not unique. It could be 
matched, in every essential detail, out of the political 
experiences of men in every state of the Union. That 
is why I tell it because it is so general in its applica 
tion. But more important than that, I tell it because 
it reveals some of the forces that were at work under 
neath the surface of the machinery of government. 

There was ambition, of course, and trickery, and 
jealousy, and revenge; but beneath and beyond these 
personal traits there were the economic forces that 


have played so large a part in shaping the Govern 
ment of the United States. The men who exhibited 
the greatest abilities and who displayed the most 
faculties were selected and used as the tools and 
spokesmen of big business. Bribery and corruption 
were not crimes unless they became too blatant. 
Ordinarily they were businesses in which the capital 
was furnished by the "interests" and the work was 
performed by officials sworn to uphold and defend 
the Constitution of the United States. 

Later in my political experience I was to learn that 
the whole structure of our government, from the 
Constitution onward, had been framed by business 
men to further business ends; that the laws had been 
passed by the legislatures and interpreted by the 
courts with this end in view ; that the execution of the 
laws was placed in the hands of executives known to 
be safe and that these things were more true of the 
national than they were of local and state political 



The Convention of 1787 that framed the Consti 
tution of the United States was dominated by law 
yers, money-lenders and land owners. It did its work 
behind closed doors, all members being sworn not 
to disclose any of the proceedings. 

Madison reported the proceedings in long-hand; 
his notes were purchased by Congress and published 
in 1837, nearly half a century after the convention 
had finished its work. These published notes dis 
close the forces that dominated the work of the con 
vention. All through the debates ran one theme: 
how to secure a government, not by the people for 
the people, but by the classes for the classes, with 
the lawyers in control. This was the burden of the 
debates, page after page, through all of the 760 
pages of the two volumes of Madison Notes. 

The Constitution thus framed did not create a gov 
ernment of the people; its whole purpose was to pro 
mote and protect the rights of property more than 
the rights of man. Two extracts from those pro 
ceedings illustrate this point; they are typical, and 
are as follows : 

P. 78. Sherman of Connecticut said : "The 
people should have as little to do as may be 
about the Government. They want infor 
mation and are constantly liable to be mis 

Gerry, of Massachusetts: "The evil we 
experience flows from the excess of democ 

P. 115. Mr. Gerry: "Hence in Massa 
chusetts the worst men get into the legis 
lature. Several members of that body had 
lately been convicted of infamous crimes. 
Men of indigence, ignorance and baseness 


spare no pains, however dirty, to carry their 
point against men who are superior to the 
artifices practiced." 

Jefferson was not a member of the convention. 
He was the author of the Declaration of Indepen 
dence; he was not wanted, so he was sent to France. 

There were 55 delegates in that convention. Let 
us see who they were: A majority were lawyers; 
most of them came from towns ; not one farmer, me 
chanic or laborer; five-sixths had property interests. 
Of the 55 members, 40 owned Revolutionary scrip ; 
14 were land speculators; 24 were money-lenders; 
11 were merchants; 15 were slave-holders. Wash 
ington was a slave-holder, a large land-owner, and a 
holder of much Revolutionary scrip. 


It is not strange that the Constitution as framed 
by that convention said nothing about the rights of 
man. It was made by men who believed in the Eng 
lish theory of government that all governments are 
created to protect the rights of property in the hands 
of those who do not produce the property. 

Revolutionary scrip was issued to finance the 
Revolution, and used to pay for supplies and the 
wages of the men who did the fighting; it had been 
bought up by the financiers and great land-owners 
and their attorneys for about nine cents on the dollar. 
When the Constitution was adopted, it was made, at 
once, worth one hundred cents on the dollar. 

Thus a Constitution was made, by property in 
terests, for property interests alone. The great "Bill 
of Rights" had been thrown into the wastebasket. 

Jefferson was in France. 


Against the Constitution, as thus framed, seven 

of the thirteen states protested, but five of them were 


finally induced to ratify in reliance upon the "Bill 
of Rights" being promptly added by amendments. 
The first eight amendments were speedily formulated 
and soon the ninth and tenth were added, to be sub 
mitted by the first Congress to the States, and that 
was promptly done. It is certain that the Constitu 
tion could never have been adopted without these 
amendments for the protection of fundamental hu 
man rights. 

Thomas Jefferson had returned from France. 


The First Amendment is as follows : 

"Congress shall make no law respecting 
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting 
free exercise thereof; or abridging the free 
dom of speech, or of the press, or of the 
right of the people peaceably to assemble, 
and to petition the Government for a re 
dress of grievances." 

It is amazing that this great basic principle of civil 
and religious liberty should have been left out of the 
Constitution as framed by the convention. It could 
not have been overlooked or omitted by accident; 
it is obvious that it was done deliberately. 


The next seven amendments protect the people 
against military rule in defiance of civil authority; 
against the search or seizure of their persons, homes, 
papers, etc., except by authority of a warrant duly 
issued under proper legal restrictions; against being 
put in jeopardy of trial and conviction; without the 
alleged charge being investigated and approved by 
a grand jury, or the taking of life, liberty, or property 
without due process of law; against trial and con 
viction except by an impartial jury where the alleged 
crime was committed, with information as to the 


cause and nature of the offence, faced by accusing 
witnesses, and the right of counsel for defense; 
against the courts overturning a jury s verdict; 
against excessive bail, or "cruel and unusual punish 

Jefferson had returned, and his tongue and pen 
were in action ; the priceless Bill of Rights was thus 
saved and made a part of our organic law. But 
Jefferson, with foresighted wisdom, based on a deep 
knowledge of men and things, knew that it was ne 
cessary to protect liberty and all human rights by 
clear and positive safeguards; therefore, the ninth 
and tenth amendments were added for this purpose. 
The Ninth Amendment was as follows: 


"The enumeration in the Constitution of 
certain rights shall not be construed to deny 
or disparage others retained by the 

A wonderfully wise provision; a recognition and 
declaration of the great fundamental fact that all 
rights and power are inherent in the people them 
selves, and are not derived as concessions from 
usurpers masquerading under the "Divine rights of 
Kings." But the enemies of human freedom in high 
places have often betrayed this trust and ignored and 
trampled under foot this great basic principle of the 
divine right of the people, as I will show below. 

Jefferson also foresaw that the time would come 
when an ambitious Federal executive, a usurping 
Federal court, or a reckless Congress would take the 
position that the people and the States had no power 
or rights which were not subordinate to the Federal 
power and authority. He knew that when that time 
came our great representative Democracy, created 
by the amended Constitution, would be dead, and 
that on its grave there would rule, with a tyrant s 


hand, the worst autocracy of plutocracy that the 
world has ever seen. To prevent such usurpation, 
the Tenth Amendment was submitted and adopted 
along with the other amendments. It is worded as 


"The powers not delegated to the United 
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited 
by it to the States, are reserved to the States 
respectively or to the people." 

This amendment, in such clear and concise lan 
guage, was the greatest possible victory for pre 
venting encroachments on the reserved rights and 
liberties of the people and the independence of the 
States necessary for State sovereignty. It made our 
Federal Government one of defined, expressed pow 
ers, limited definitely to the powers enumerated 
and granted. One of the great dangers which 
Jefferson feared, and which he was sure had 
been forever killed by this amendment, as shown 
by his later writings, was the usurpation by the 
Supreme Court of the power to supervise the Execu 
tive Department or to declare a law enacted by Con 
gress unconstitutional, or to construe the Constitu 
tion so as to take from or add to the powers granted 
by the States and the people. He knew no such 
power had been granted to the Judiciary Depart 
ment and, on the other hand, he knew (though Madi 
son s notes had not then been published) that every 
effort made by the enemies of Democracy in the 
Constitutional Convention to get such a dangerous 
provision in the Constitution had been defeated; yet 
he determined to affirmatively deny that power and 
every other power not expressly delegated to each 
of the three departments respectively of the Fed 
eral Government, and this was done by the plain and 
precise words of the Tenth Amendment. 

In this connection, I call attention to Madison s 


Notes, p. 533, which show that the proposition to 
confer upon the Supreme Court the power to declare 
an Act of Congress void was squarely at issue; and 
that Maryland, Delaware and Virginia voted aye; 
while Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, 
Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, South 
Carolina and Georgia voted nay. The proposition 
was brought up in the convention on several other 
occasions, but was each time decisively defeated. 

While the members of the Constitutional Conven 
tion were ultra-conservative, serving property rights 
with a contempt for human rights, and always try 
ing to hobble and gag the rule of the people, yet 
they were familiar with the fact that when an Eng 
lish court, about three hundred years before, held 
an Act of Parliament void, the Chief Justice, Tras- 
sillian, had been hanged and his associates on the 
bench had been banished from the country. They 
also knew that since that time no English court had 
dared to usurp such unconstitutional authority. It 
was this fact, no doubt, which deterred such a Con 
stitutional Convention from conferring upon the Su 
preme Court the power to declare an Act of Congress 

With the Constitution thus amended, Jefferson de 
clared that the Bill of Rights, buttressed by the Tenth 
Amendment, were the "two sheet anchors of our 
Union." He felt sure that a government of, for, and 
by the people was assured for all time. He saw a 
great representative Democracy launched, with 
every delegated power necessary for national pur 
poses, and the rights and liberties of the people en 
throned and safe beyond successful attack or en 
croachment. But he soon had a rude awakening. 


Chief Justice Marshall, who was an Englishman, in 
the case of Marbury vs. Madison, usurped the power to 


interpret the Constitution and to instruct another co 
equal and co-sovereign department of the Government 
as to its powers and duties. 

Jefferson denounced that decision as a bald usurpa 
tion and a glaring unconstitutional encroachment on 
the powers and duties of another independent de 
partment of the Government. He lamented the failure 
of the House of Representatives to bring the Court to 
trial under impeachment proceedings. In a letter to 
Judge Spencer Roane, under date of September 6, 1819, 
he said : 

"In denying the right they usurp of exclu 
sively explaining the Constitution, I go fur 
ther than you do, if I understand rightly your 
quotation, from the Federalist, of an opinion 
that the judiciary is the last resort in relation 
to the other departments of the Government, 
but not in relation to the rights of the parties 
to the compact under which the judiciary is 
derived/ If this opinion be sound, then in 
deed is our Constitution a complete felo de se. 
For intending to establish three departments, 
co-ordinate and independent, that they might 
check and balance one another, it has given, 
according to this opinion, to one of them 
alone, the right to prescribe rules for the gov 
ernment of the others, and to that one too 
which is unelected by, and independent of the 
nation. For experience has already shown 
that the impeachment it has provided is not 
even a scarecrow. . . . The Constitution, on 
this hypothesis, i,s a mere thing of wax in the 
hands of the judiciary, which they may twist 
and shape into any form they please. It should 
be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth 
in politics, that whatever power in any gov 
ernment is independent is absolute also; in 
theory only, at first, while the spirit of the 
people is up, but in practice, as fast as that 


relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere 
but with the people in mass. They are inher 
ently independent of all but moral law. My 

construction of the Constitution is very differ 
ent from that you quote. It is that each de 
partment is truly independent of the others, 
and has an equal right to decide for itself 
what is the meaning of the Constitution in the 
cases submitted to its action; and especially 
where it is to act ultimately and without 

In a letter to Judge William Johnson, under date 
of June 12, 1823, commenting on the same decision, 
he said: 

"But the Chief Justice says, there must 
be an ultimate arbiter somewhere/ True, 
there must; but does that prove it is either 
party? The ultimate arbiter is the people 
of the Union, assembled by their deputies 
in convention, at the call of Congress, or of 
two-thirds of the States. Let them decide 
to which they mean to give an authority 
claimed by two of their organs. And it 
has been the peculiar wisdom and felicity 
of our Constitution to have provided this 
peacable appeal, where that of other na 
tions is at once to force." 

In a letter to William Charles Jarvis, under date 
of September 28, 1820, reviewing a book which at 
tempted to defend this court usurpation of power, 
he said; 

"You seem, in pages 84 to 148, to con 
sider the judges as the ultimate arbiter of 
all constitutional questions a very danger 
ous doctrine indeed and one which would 
place us under the despotism of an olig 
archy. Our judges are as honest as other men 
and not more so. They have, with others, 


the same passion for party, for power and 
the privilege of their corps. Their maxim 
is *bon judicis est amplaire jurisdictionem, 

and their power is the more dangerous as 
they are not responsible, as the other func 
tionaries are, to the effective control. The 
Constitution has created no such single trib 
unal, knowing that to whatever hands con 
fided, with the corruptions of time and 
party, its members would become despots. 
It has more wisely made all the depart 
ments co-equal and co-sovereign with them 

No one ever has or ever can question the truth 
of this statement that "the Constitution has erected 
no such single tribunal" to supervise and to veto 
the acts of the other two "co-equal and co-sovereign 
departments of our government; therefore Congress 
inertly surrendered its co-equal and co-sovereign 
powers when it failed to impeach the Judicial De 
partment of the Government for this contemptuous 
usurpation of powers, over which the people re 
served to themselves elective control. 

Further on in the same letter, Jefferson says: 

"The Constitution, in keeping three de 
partments distinct and independent, re 
strains the authority of the judges to judi 
ciary organs, as it does the executive and 
legislative to executive and legislative or 
gans. The judges certainly have more fre 
quent occasion to act on constitutional ques 
tions, because the laws of meum and tuum 
and of criminal action, forming the great 
mass of the system of law, constitute their 
particular department. When the legisla 
tive or executive functionaries act unconsti 
tutionally, they are responsible to the peo 
ple in their elective capacity. The exemp- 


tion of the judges from that is quite dan 
gerous enough. I know no safe depository 
of the ultimate powers of the society but 
the people themselves; and if we think 
them not enlightened enough to exercise 

I have already shown that the Constitution con 
fers no power on the Judiciary Department of the 
Government to question the legality of an Act of 
Congress, and that every time the conferring of such 
dangerous powers on that department was proposed 
in the convention it was voted down. I have also 
shown that the states would not, even then, accept 
the Constitution until the ten amendments were form 
ulated and satisfactory assurances were made that 
they would be at once submitted for adoption; and 
also that these amendments, after including the great 
Bill of Rights, concluded with the most important 
Tenth Amendment, which affirmatively and posi 
tively reserved to the people and to the states all 
powers and rights not expressly granted to the Fed- 


eral Government, and which expressly inhibits the 
taking away of or the adding of any powers by con 
struction or by implication. On these clear and con 
cise reasons, Jefferson correctly asserts that the 
power to determine the constitutionality of a law is 
reserved to the people. They, and they alone, have 
the power to pass on the legality of any law of Con 
gress, and they can use that power at any and every 

This is the plain truth of the whole matter. 

In another letter, under date of December 25, 
1820, to Thomas Richie, commenting on a book by 
Colonel Taylor, which vigorously criticized the ex 
travagance of the Government and the greatly in 
creased appropriations and taxes called for by the 
Treasury Department, Jefferson said: 

"If there be anything amiss, therefore, in 
the present state of our affairs, as the form 
idable deficit lately unfolded to us indicates, 
I ascribe it to the inattention of Congress to 
their duties, to their unwise dissipation and 
waste of the public contributions. They 
seemed, some little while ago, to be at a 
loss for objects whereon to throw away the 
supposed fathomless funds of the Treasury. 
. . . The deficit produced, and a heavy tax 
to supply it, will, I trust, bring both to their 
sober senses. 

"But it is not from this branch of gov 
ernment we have most to fear. Taxes and 
short elections will keep them right. The 
Judiciary of the United States is the subtle 
corps ^ of sappers and miners constantly 
working underground to undermine the 
foundations of our confederated fabric. 
They are construing our Constitution from 
a coordination of a general and .special 
government to a general and supreme one 


alone. This will lay all things at their feet, 
and they are too well versed in English law 
to forget the maxim, boni judicis est am- 
plaire jurisdictionem. We shall see if they 
are bold enough to take the daring stride 
their five lawyers have lately taken. If 
they do, then, with the editor of our book, 
in his address to the public, I will say that 
against this every man should raise his 
voice/ and more, should uplift his arm. . . . 
That pen should go on, lay bare these 
wounds of our Constitution, expose the de 
cisions seriatim, and arouse, as it is able, the 
attention of the nation to these bold specu 
lators, on its patience. Having found, from 
experience, that impeachment is an imprac 
ticable thing, a mere scarecrow, they con 
sider themselves secure for life ; they skulk 
from responsibility to public opinion, the 
only remaining hold on them, under a prac 
tice first introduced into England by Lord 
Mansfield. An opinion is huddled up in 
conclave, perhaps by a majority of one, de 
livered as if unanimous, and with the silent 
acquiescence of lax or timid associates, by a 
crafty Chief Judge who sophisticates the 
law to his mind by the turn of his own rea 
soning. A judiciary law was once reported 
by the Attorney General to Congress, re 
quiring each judge to deliver his opinion 
seriatim and openly, and then to give it in 
writing to the clerk to be entered in the 
record. A judiciary independent of a king 
or executive alone is a good thing; but in 
dependence of the will of the nation is a 
solecism, at least in a republican govern 
Such criticism of this startling usurpation by the 


Judiciary Department and talk of the impeachment 
of the judges were effective to prevent the court 
from again usurping the power to declare an Act 
of Congress void for over fifty years. 


It was not long, however, before this same court 
overstepped its defined powers and, in defiance of 
every principle of law, equity and morals, rendered 
the notorious Dartmouth College decision, in which 
it was held that property interests, past, present and 
future, had vested rights, under a special privilege 
granted in a private charter, which it was impos 
sible for the people, through legislation, to change, 
no matter how injurious to the public interests the 
terms of the charter might be. It has been claimed, 
in excuse for the Court, that it was hypnotized by 
the overpowering but false reasoning of Daniel Web 
ster; but, let that be as it may, it is gratifying that 
such an unsound doctrine, based on such a decision, 
has been repudiated by nearly every state in the 
Union, and by nearly every civilized country in the 


In 1857 Judge Taney, for a majority of the court, 
held an Act of Congress in the Missouri Compromise 
case unconstitutional. There was, however, no in 
dignation or threat of impeachment of the court for 
this bold usurpation, so ever since the Supreme 
Court has made a plaything of the acts of Congress 
as often as it has pleased them so to do. This is 
what Jefferson said they would soon become bold 
enough to do if they were not called to account for 
usurpation of power. It was against the first usur 
pation by the court that Jefferson said: "I will say 
that "against this every man should raise his voice, 
and more, should uplift his arm." 



The pitiable surrender by Congress to its "co-equal 
and co-sovereign powers" has emboldened the Su 
preme Court not only to continue to declare Acts of 
Congress unconstitutional, but also to go further and 
wipe out completely the Tenth Amendment to the 
Constitution. This has been done not only to give 
to the Federal Government powers never granted by 
the people or by the states, but also to take from the 
Federal Government powers clearly granted, v/hen 
necessary to do so in order to confer special priv 
ileges on big property interests. A striking example 
is the famous, or rather infamous, income tax deci 
sions. In the case of Pollock vs. Farmers Loan & 
Trust Company, the Supreme Court, after one of its 
judges, Shiras, had changed his opinion overnight, 
decided, by a majority of one, that the constitu 
tional power to levy a fair and just tax on incomes, 
which Congress has exercised for a hundred years, 
was unconstitutional. This startling decision did 
not arouse Congress to its duty to impeach the court; 
but it so aroused the people everywhere that a move 
ment was at once started all over the country which 
resulted in the adoption of the Sixteenth Amendment 
to the Constitution. 

Judge Shiras was a Pennsylvania lawyer and had 
for years, so I am informed, been the attorney of 
many of the chief beneficiaries of his change of 
position as a judge on this question; but I know a 
lawyer is the only person who can legally take a 
bribe he calls it a fee. 

This amendment again conferred upon Congress 
the power which the Court, by an unconstitutional 
and revolutionary decision, had attempted to take 
away. Under the broad terms of this Sixteenth 
Amendment, which, in specific language, makes all 


incomes from whatever source derived, liable for 
an income tax, Congress passed another income tax 
law. The court, not daring to again declare an in 
come tax unconstitutional, then proceeded to render 
a legislative decision in which it holds that an in 
come received in the form of a "stock dividend" is 
not liable for a tax on such income. This opened 
the way to relieve all the largest incomes in this 
country from any tax whatever. All the big cor 
porations at once began declaring stock dividends 
instead of cash dividends, and thus they are robbing 
the Treasury of the United States annually of hun 
dreds of millions of dollars, which must be made up 
and paid by the people of less means and less ca 
pacity to pay. 

This monstrous decision was rammed through the 
court by a majority of one, four of the justices dis 
senting ; Mr. Justice Brandeis, in his dissenting opinion, 
said : 

"If stock dividends representing profits 
are held exempt from taxation under the 
Sixteenth Amendment, the ow^ners of the 
most successful business in America will, 
as the facts in this case illustrate, be able to 
escape taxation on a large part of what is 
actually their income." 

How quickly this prophecy was fulfilled is indi 
cated by the volume of stock dividends that have 
been declared since the court delivered this opinion. 
Mr. Justice Brandeis, in the same dissenting opinion, 
adds: "That such a result was intended by the 
people of the United States when adopting the Six 
teenth Amendment is inconceivable." 

The same conviction is expressed with pungency 
by Mr. Justice Holmes in his dissenting opinion in 
the same case, in which he says : 

"I think that the word incomes in the Six 
teenth Amendment should be read in a 


sense most obvious to the common under 
standing at the time of its adoption, .... 
for it was for public adoption that it was 
proposed. . . . The known purpose of this 
amendment was to get rid of nice questions 
as to what might be direct taxes, and I can 
not doubt that most people, not lawyers, 
would suppose when they voted for it that 
they put a question like the present one to 

This is a strong and timely indictment of such 
judicial usurpation. 


The Supreme Court, by this decision, had protected 
their rich friends from paying an income tax, but 
had not protected themselves, since their salaries 
from the Government were paid in cash, and not in 
stock dividends; so another decision was rendered, 
declaring the income tax law unconstitutional as far 
as it requires the judges and the President to pay 
an income tax. This raw personal decision was ren 
dered by Judge Van Devender, a sage-brush lawyer 
from the cowboy country of Wyoming, who was ap 
pointed by Roosevelt, and whose only qualification 
seems to be that he had been an attorney for the 
Union Pacific Railroad. I have seen no reputable 
citizen who has attempted to defend this outrageous 
decision, rendered in the interests of their own per 
sonal pockets. 


In short, the court, having become drunk with un 
restrained power, has boldly entered the field of leg 
islation, and now does not hesitate to alter, amend, 
or repeal any act of Congress. The court could not 
find any grounds on which to declare the Anti-Trust 
law unconstitutional, so it proceeded to amend the 


law. The act makes unlawful "a conspiracy in re 
straint of trade"; but the court amended it by in 
serting the word "unreasonable," so restraint of 
trade is no longer unlawful unless it is "unreason 
able" restraint. Highway robbery is no longer a 
crime unless it is "unreasonable" robbery. 

The cases of such judicial juggling with legisla 
tion are too numerous to mention; but I will cite 
one other case which caps the climax of flagrant 
usurpation the notorious Steel Trust case. The 
Steel Trust was indicted and tried for violation of 
the Anti-Trust law. The evidence of guilt was over 
whelming and conclusive. The court admitted it 
was clear that the Steel Trust had been violating 
the law in a wholesale manner; yet it held that it 
was not committing any new acts of lawlessness just 
at that time, and, therefore, that no good purpose 
would seem to be served in now punishing the trust 
for past gross violations of law. 

1 quote the following from the decision of the 
court in that case : 

"A holding corporation which by its for 
mation united under one control competing 
companies in the steel industry, but which 
did not achieve monopoly, and only at 
tempted to fix prices through occasional 
appeals to and confederation with compet 
itors, whatever there was of wrongful in 
tent not having been executed, and what 
ever there was of evil effect having been 
discontinued before suit was brought, 
should not be dissolved nor be separated 
from some of its subsidiaries at the suit of 
the Government, asserting violations of the 
Sherman Anti-Trust Act- especially where 
the court cannot see that the public interest 
will be served by yielding to the Govern 
ment s demand, and does see in so yielding 


a risk of injury to the public interest, in 
cluding a material disturbance of, and, per 
haps, serious detriment to, the foreign 

"In conclusion, we are unable to see that 
the public interest will be served by yield 
ing to the contention of the Government 
respecting the dissolution of the company 
or the separation from it of some of its sub 
sidiaries; and we do see in a contrary con 
clusion a risk of injury to the public in 
terest, including a material disturbance of, 
and, it may be serious detriment to, the 
foreign trade. And, in submission to the 
policy of the law, and its fortifying pro 
hibitions, the public interest is of para 
mount regard." 

But you must remember the judges are lawyers, and 
a lawyer is the only person who can legally take a bribe 
he calls it a fee. 

So the public has been robbed in a wholesale manner, 
but, inasmuch as the robbers are not just now doing 
any stealing, and they promise to use some of their 
stolen money for charity, it is not deemed to be in the 
public interests to punish them ; they are allowed to go 
scot-free with their ill-gotten gains, and not even put 
under bond not to violate the law again. 

Of course, a court that will render such a line of deci 
sions could be depended on to declare unconstitutional 
the law passed by Congress making "profiteering" ille 
gal during the war, which thing the court has just 
done; and now all the profiteers, big and little, who 
have been indicted for most treasonable profiteering on 
the Government, contributing to the suffering and 
death of thousands of soldiers, whose lives otherwise 
would have been saved, are discharged with honor and 
are permitted to go scot-free with their blood-money 


Jefferson is dead; and Congress is composed of 


These cases illustrate how the Federal courts have 
usurped powers in order to shield and confer special 
privileges on big property interests, in flagrant viola 
tion of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. But 
the courts have gone further, and have attempted to 
destroy all the ten amendments, which were put into 
the Constitution to safeguard and protect human 

In the Abrams case, recently decided by the Supreme 
Court, it was held that Mollie Steiner and Abrams and 
two others were guilty of violating the Espionage Act 
because they circulated in New York a pamphlet urging 
the raising of the blockade against Russia. The lower 
court had sentenced Mollie Steiner to prison for fifteen 
years a mere slip of a girl, a little over twenty years 
of age and the three men, who had also circulated this 
petition protesting against the blockade, for twenty 
years each to the Federal penitentiary. This monstrous 
decision, which is clearly in violation of tShe First Amend 
ment guaranteeing freedom of speech and of the 
press and which is also squarely in defiance of thg 
Eighth Amendment, which provided that cruel and un 
usual punishments .shall not be inflicted, was affirmed 
by a majority of the Supreme Court of the United 
States. I quote from the dissenting opinion of the 
court rendered by Justice Holmes and concurred in by 
Justice Brandeis : 

"To hold such publications can be sup 
pressed as false reports, subjects to new perils 
the constitutional liberty of the press, already 
seriously curtailed in practice under powers 
assumed to have been conferred upon the 
postal authorities. Nor will this grave danger 


end with the passing of the war. The consti 
tutional right of free speech has been declared 
to be the same in peace and in war. In peace, 
too, men may differ as to what loyalty to pur 
country demands, and an intolerant majority, 
swayed by passion or by fear, may be prone in 
the future, as it has often been in the past, to 
stamp as disloyal opinions with which it dis 
agrees. Convictions such as these, besides 
abridging freedom of speech, threaten free 
dom of thought and of belief. ... In this 
case, sentences of twenty years* imprison 
ment have been imposed for the publishing of 
two leaflets that I believe the defendants had 
as much right to publish as the Government 
has to publish the Constitution of the United 
States now vainly invoked by them." 

Such an infamous and inhuman decision requires no 
further comment from me. 

Similar cases are so numerous in the recent decisions 
of the Supreme Court that it is astonishing that Con 
gress has not acted to call the offending members of 
the court to accountability for such flagrant usurpa 
tions, in violation of the basic rights of a free people 
guaranteed by the first and other amendments to the 
Constitution. The President of the United States 
should have removed these offending judges for want 
of "good behavior," which is the constitutional qualifi 
cation for a Federal judge. A judge should not be per 
mitted to remain on the bench until he commits offenses 
so great as to make him guilty of the grave crimes 
named by the Constitution for impeachment. But the 
offenses here cited amount to "high crimes and misde 
meanors," and also to "treason" against free govern 
ment, and therefore call loudly to Congress to apply 
the impeachment remedy of the Constitution, since the 
President has failed to remove them for want of "good 


I will mention one more case: In the Gilbert case 
from Minnesota, the Supreme Court held outright that 
the expression of opinion is a crime. In that case, the 
speaker had simply stated that the people had no voice, 
really, in the selection of any of their officers, but that 
they were selected for them ; that voting was no partic 
ular remedy for any of the evils of which we complain, 
because the candidates and the platform were prepared 
in advance by big business interests; and that people 
could vote or not vote, just as they chose, it making no 
difference in the result. 

The indictment in that case charged that Gilbert in 
time of war used the following language in a public 
speech in the State of Minnesota : 

"We are going over to Europe to make the 
world safe for democracy, but I tell you we 
had better make America safe for democracy 
first. You .say, What is the matter with our 
democracy? I tell you what is the matter with 
it: Have you had anything to say as to who 
should be President ? Have you had anything 
to say as to who should be Governor of this 
state? Have you had anything to say as to 
whether we would go into this war? You 
know you have not. If this is such a good de 
mocracy, for Heaven s sake why should we 
not vote on conscription of men? We were 
stampeded into this war by newspaper rot to 
pull England s chestnuts out of the fire for 
her. I tell you if they conscripted wealth like 
they have conscripted men, this war would 
not last over forty-eight hours. ..." 

It was for expressing these opinions that he was sent 
to jail for three years and fined five hundred dollars. 

What has become of the Bill of Rights guaranteeing 
"freedom of speech"? 

Let us read again the First Amendment to the Con 
stitution : 



"Congress shall make no law respecting an 
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the 
free exercise thereof; or abridging the free 
dom of speech, or of the press, or of the right 
of the people peaceably to assemble, and to 
petition the Government for a redress of 

When the court convicted Gilbert for the expression 
of such an opinion, it repealed, by judicial fiat, this 
amendment to the Constitution. 

Hear Judge McKenna roar, and hear the other little 
judges join in the chorus: 

". . . The war . . . was not declared in ag 
gression, but in defense, in defense of our na 
tional honor, in vindication of the most sacred 
rights of our nation and our people." (Words 
of President Wilson in his War Message to 
Congress, April 2, 1917.) 

"This was known to Gilbert, for he was in 
formed in affairs and the operations of the 
Government, and every word that he uttered 
in denunciation of the war was false, was 
deliberate misrepresentation of the motives 
which impelled it, and the objects for which it 
was prosecuted. He could have had no purpose 
other than that of which he was charged. It 
would be a tragedy on the constitutional privi 
lege he invokes to assign him its protection." 

This language of the court needs no comment, be 
cause it shows on its face utter want of judicial rea 
soning ; it is not expressive of any legal principle ; it is 
an assertion of naked power, avowedly guided by emo 

Here is a court the Supreme Court the court of 
last resort, depriving an American citizen of his liberty, 
and founding their opinion on emotion and hysteria; 


on instinct without logic, without sense or reason, over 
turning the Constitution and violating their oath of 
office, while Congress fails to act because it is composed 
of lawyers. 

It is needless to cite or examine other decisions of a 
court which has become so irresponsibly drunk with 
usurped power as to render two such monstrous deci 
sions. They are flagrant violations of the basic guar 
antees of the Bill of Rights and the ten amendments, 
and are revolutionary in the extreme. It is such trea 
sonable judicial tyranny as this that breeds anarchy. 

Let us read again the earnest and warning words of 
Jefferson : 

"The judiciary of the United States is the 
subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly 
working underground to undermine the foun 
dations of our confederated fabric. ... I will 
say, that against this every man should raise 
his voice, and, more, should uplift his arm." 

But Jefferson is dead, and Congress is composed of 
lawyers who are the attorneys of big business. A 
lawyer is the only person, whether a judge or Con 
gressman, who can legally take a bribe he calls it a fee. 

Against this ugly and most dangerous thing, I, as one 
American citizen of this generation, have been and will 
continue to raise my voice. It must stop ; if neither the 
President nor Congress will exercise their constitu 
tional power and duty to remove such judges for such 
inhuman usurpations, the people will uplift their arm. 


In answer to that question, Jefferson said that the 
judges of the United States courts "are as honest as 
other men, but not more so" ; that they have the same 
passions for party and for power; that their power is 
all the more dangerous because they are appointed and 
are not responsible, as the officials of the legislative and 
executive departments are, to elective control; that, 


when on the bench they become indoctrinated with the 
false and dangerous English doctrine, that "it is the 
part of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction," which 
is squarely prohibited by our Constitution. JEFFER 

These were Jefferson s fears after he saw the Su 
preme Court, composed of men of average ability and 
honesty, usurp power for the first time to wipe out the 
Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. What would 
he say if he could ,see the kind of men who now fill most 
of the Federal Judiciary, and the flagrant lengths of 
usurpation and despotism to which they have gone to 
serve mammon and to trample upon the rights and lib 
erties of the people ? 

I am of the opinion that the Supreme Court of the 
United States, by a long line of decisions, has become 
ridiculous, absurd and contemptible. They cannot go 
to any greater length and, if Congress was not com 
posed of lawyers, the Supreme Court would be abol 
ished at once. They should be impeached for high 
crimes and misdemeanors, and banished from official 
life forever. If the present court is impeached it will 
not remedy the evil. The only remedy is to abolish the 
courts created by Congress and thus reduce the Su 
preme Court to impotency. 

One of the additional things which is the matter with 
the Federal courts is an evil which has developed under 
our modern reign of plutocracjr in the selection of attor- 


neys of corporations and special privilege, who are 
obviously disqualified to be judges because they are 
necessarily prejudiced in favor of the ever-increasing 
selfish demands of big business and, therefore, preju 
diced against the rights and welfare of the general 
public. In fact, as a rule, corporation lawyers who 
have spent their lives conniving with cunning skill to 
enable the great combinations to evade the law of the 
land, alone are selected to be judges of the United 
States courts. 

The judges of the United States courts are advanced 
in years before they are appointed, having spent their 
lives in the employ of the exploiters of the people of 
the United States. They all believe that property 
rights are sacred and not human rights. 

A concrete illustration of this state of affairs arose 
in New York in 1895. The General Traffic Association, 
which was a combination of all the railroads between 
New York and Chicago, was attacked by the United 
States District Attorney for the Southern District of 
New York on the ground that it was a combination in 
violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. Mr. McFar- 
land, the United States Attorney for the Southern Dis 
trict of New York, appeared before the Interstate Com 
merce Committee of the United States Senate and, 
under oath, made the following .statement: 

"When the case came up, Judge LaCombs 
stated in his opinion he was disqualified to 
hear the case, or any proceedings in it, as at 
that time he owned bonds or stocks in some 
one of the railroads, and he also .stated that he 
understood that most, if not all, of the judges 
of that circuit were under the same disquali 

It was finally decided that Judge Wheeler, the Dis 
trict Judge of the Vermont District, was apparently the 
only judge in the circuit who was not under a disquali 
fication similar to that which Judge LaCombs had 


.stated he was under, namely, the holding of some bonds 
or stock of the railroads. The case was finally tried 
before JudgeWheeler, and as he was a creature of the 
political system then in vogue, that is, had been ap 
pointed through the influence of the senators from 
Vermont, one of those senators Edmunds, of Vermont 
was employed by the railroads as one of their attor 
neys and filed a brief in the case. 

Judge Wheeler decided the case in favor of the rail 
roads. An appeal was taken by the United States to 
the Circuit Court, and then Judge LaCombs stated, 
from the bench, that he was now qualified to try the 
case because he had disposed of his stocks and bonds 
in the defendant railroads. He thereupon affirmed the 
decision rendered by Judge Wheeler and the case went 
to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Su 
preme Court reversed the decision, but, as several 
years had elapsed since the case was commenced, the 
railroads had found out another way to do it, so it cre 
ated no embarrassment for them whatever. 

Very prominent lawyers in more than one circuit 
have told me that when a circuit or district United 
States judge had a son, who had been graduated and 
was ready to practice law, it was quite common for the 
judge to call upon some law firm employed by some 
trust or combination and say that his son was now 
ready to enter upon the practice of law, and ask if they 
knew of an opening, and of course the answer was: 

"Send him right over here we have been 
looking for just such a man." 

So, in many cases, the United States judge sits upon 
the bench, himself having been graduated from the 
office of attorney for some great industrial combina 
tion, and listens to the reading of a brief, prepared by 
his own son, in the interest of the corporation for whom 
the judge has served before he went upon the bench. 

Thus we see today a Federal judiciary is composed, 
very largely, of corporation lawyers, who have spent 


their lives conniving in the interests of the great cor 
porations whose attorneys they were, and who without 
scruple have done whatever their clients demanded in 
order to carry their point and more successfully exploit 
the people of the United States. When such lawyers 
get upon the bench their former practice and training 
asserts it .self in every act. Such men are disqualified 
to sit on a jury, and all the more are they disqualified 
to sit on the bench. Chief Justice White is a man of 
little ability arid no genius. He was a Louisiana lawyer 
and attorney for the sugar interests ; he was elected to 
the U. S. Senate in 1890 and was assigned to the Com 
mittee on Public Lands. I was a member of that com 
mittee, so I became very well acquainted with White as 
a senator. He was a man of very ordinary capacity and 
in no way qualified for the Supreme bench, and indeed 
so much so that I was very much surprised when Cleve 
land even made him Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court in 1894. 

The lawyers who serve monopoly and special privi 
lege try to create the impression that the Supreme 
Court is infallible; that its decisions are the final law 
of the land, even when in violation of the Constitution, 
and that no one must criticize or question the sanctity 
of the court. Yet the present Supreme Court of the 
United States is a most ordinary body of men. No 
matter who their predecessors were, they certainly 
were not selected because of their wisdom, genius or 
learning. They are a long way from being infallible. 
In fact, the records of the Supreme Court show that 
they are exceedingly and wilfully fallible. In all our 
history, no judge ever voted other than with the polit 
ical party from which he came. 

In short, the obvious and ugly truth is that the 
United States courts have become the greatest enemy 
to justice, and the greatest menace to a free govern 



The time has come when this growing and overshad 
owing evil must be checked. There are today but two 
checks on the Federal judges. First, the power of im 
peachment, which the Constitution vests in Congress; 
second, the power of removal, which the Constitution 
vests in the President, by and with the advice and con 
sent of the Senate. 

To impeach a judge and remove him from the bench 
by that means makes it necessary for the House of 
Representatives to formulate and present impeachment 
charges, and to convict the judge of treason or of high 
crimes and misdemeanors, and by a two-thirds vote of 
the Senate. Congress has never exercised that consti 
tutional power and duty, and probably never will, unless 
there shall be a revolution at the polls, on that specific 
issue, against some judge or judges, whose corruption 
and guilt are known to all men. 

The other check, the power of the President to re 
move a judge by and with the advice of the Senate, 
would be very effective if we had a President who would 
exercise the power when and where it is needed. 

It is a common error that Federal judges are ap 
pointed for life. The \vords of the Constitution are 
that the President, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Senate, has the power to appoint judges "who 
shall hold their offices during good behavior" ; the com 
mission which every judge holds today so reads. 

Thus the Constitution clearly puts the Federal 
judges in a class by themselves, and requires of them 
a higher degree of accountability than is required of 
other Government officials. Other public officials, from 
the President down, cannot be removed from office until 
they can be convicted, by a two-thirds vote of the Sen 
ate, of being guilty of the "high crimes" which are pre 
scribed for impeachment. But a Federal judge may 
not stay on the bench until he has reached that degree 


of known unfi tness ; he must live and act on the bench, 
and off, up to the high standard of "good behavior" 
which he was deemed to possess by the President and 
the Senate when he was appointed and confirmed. 
When a judge ceases to be a man of "good behavior/ 
such as he was required to possess to qualify him for 
appointment as judge, he at once becomes disqualified, 
under the Constitution, to serve longer on the bench. 
Since the Constitution does not prescribe some other 
way of determining want of "good behavior," that 
power remains inherently in the appointing powers, 
and Congress may, by law, define what is bad behavior, 
if Congress chooses to do so. Therefore, the President, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, has 
vested in him primarily the constitutional power and 
duty to determine when a Federal judge becomes dis 
qualified to serve for want of "good behavior." The 
procedure is simple : The President, having determined 
that a certain judge no longer measures up to the 
standard of "good behavior," so informs the Senate, 
when nominating his successor. If the Senate concurs 
and confirms the nomination, then the judge in ques 
tion is pro-tanto removed for want oi "good behavior," 
and the new judge takes the office thus vacated. It is 
most remarkable that no President has, so far, ever 
exercised this plain constitutional power when the fre 
quent occasion for its exercise has made it a most vital 
presidential duty. 

If we can ever elect a President who will remove 
judges who shall fall below the standard of "good be 
havior," which the Constitution makes an essential 
qualification for a man to continue to serve as judge, 
then the people will be able to exert at each presiden 
tial election their reserved power for the correction of 
judicial usurpation and abuses. 

When neither, of these constitutional checks on the 
judiciary is exercised, then the Federal judges, realiz 
ing that they are free from any kind of check or re 
straint, and responsible to no one, boldly usurp power 


and become despots of the most vicious and dangerous 
kind. This is the condition today, and this is what is 
the matter with the Federal judiciary. 

There is a growing popular demand for an amend 
ment to the Constitution to make the judiciary depart 
ment of the Government responsible to the people, as 
are the executive and legislative departments. But 
that is a slow and uncertain remedy. 


There is, however, an immediate remedy before us, 
without amending the Constitution, which shall be ef 
fective to check and cure most of the evils and abuses 
from which we now .suffer. It is simply to repeal the 
act of Congress creating all United States courts infe 
rior to the Supreme Court, thus abolishing all Federal 
courts inferior to the Supreme Court, and thus con 
fining the operations of the Supreme Court to its orig 
inal jurisdiction, as clearly defined by the Constitution. 
The language of the Constitution is as follows : 

"The judicial powers of the United States 
shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in 
such inferior courts as the Congress may 
from time to time ordain and establish. . . . 
In all cases affecting ambassadors, other pub 
lic ministers and consuls, and those in which 
the State shall be a party, the Supreme Court 
shall have original jurisdiction. In all other 
cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court 
shall have appellate jurisdiction both as to law 
and facts, with such exceptions, and under 
such regulations as the Congress shall make." 

It is clear that if Congress will repeal the act creat 
ing the United States courts inferior to the Supreme 
Court, then the Supreme Court will be at once stripped 
of all appellate jurisdiction from the circuit and dis 
trict courts. This will leave in the State courts the 


constitutional jurisdiction which Congress has con 
ferred upon the inferior United States courts. This 
will take from the Supreme Court the opportunity to 
use the judicial legerdemain by which it has contrived 
to usurp the power to declare acts of Congress uncon 
stitutional and to render legislative decisions. There 
will then be no hocus-pocus by which the court can 
get an act of Congress, before it to be repealed, 
amended or juggled. This will be perfectly safe, and 
is indeed the only way to safety; because if Congress 
shall make a mistake about the Constitution, the people 
can correct it at the next election ; but if the Supreme 
Court makes a mistake, or is corrupt as it surely must 
have been in the cases herein cited the income tax 
and in many other grievous cases then the unanimous 
vote of the whole electorate is powerless to correct it 
until the Constitution is amended. It took the people 
twenty years to do that in the income tax case, and now 
the Supreme Court has attacked and tried to destroy 
the Income Tax Amendment to the Constitution. Such 
usurpation will never stop unless this remedy is ap 

Last April I sent the following letter to every mem 
ber of Congress and to every judge of the Supreme 
Court : 

"Washington, D. C., April 10, 1920. 

"I enclose a pamphlet which I prepared 
some years ago with regard to the United 
States courts. I will be much pleased if you 
can find time to read it. You know the Su 
preme Court of the United States is provided 
for in the Constitution, but its original juris 
diction is limited to controversies between 
states and to the consular and diplomatic ser 
vice, though Congress may provide certain ap 
pellate jurisdiction; and that afterwards Con 
gress, by an act, provided for the United States 


Circuit and District Courts. It is through 
this congressional act that constitutional 
questions have been raised so as to reach the 
Supreme Court. 

"The framers of the Constitution never 
intended that the courts should have power to 
nullify an act of Congress, by declaring it un 
constitutional. That was supposed to be the 
only ground for veto by the President. But 
the courts have usurped this authority and in 
the recent decisions they have nullified the 
Constitution and usurped legislative functions 
by declaring that it is not expedient to dis 
solve the steel trust, although its conduct is in 
plain violation of the statutes ; and in the 
Abraham case they have .sent three men to 
prison for twenty years for doing what the 
minority opinion of the court says they had a 
perfect right to do. As a result of these deci 
sions, Senator LaFollette and perhaps others 
have proposed an amendment to the Constitu 
tion of the United States changing the method 
of selecting our United States judges. I sub 
mit that an amendment to the Constitution is 
not necessary. Besides, that method of secur 
ing relief from such obvious usurpations of 
power is slow, difficult and possibly impassible 
of accomplishment. Now, what I propose and 
all that is necessary, is that Congress repeal 
the law creating United States district and 
circuit courts, and leaving the cases hereafter 
that arise between citizens of the United 
States to the courts of the various states for 
final decision. This will leave the Supreme 
Court clothed simply with authority and 
jurisdiction given them by the Constitution. 

"Courts of the various .states are elected by 
the people. There is no place in a democracy 
for officials appointed for life ; and when they 


usurp power and authority and violate the 
Constitution and assume legislative powers, it 
becomes intolerable. 

"Very truly yours, 


"Raleigh Hotel." 

The Supreme Court, as I have shown, was created by 
the Constitution, while the United States circuit and 
district courts have been created by an act of Congress. 

These inferior courts were established by Congress 
upon the theory that a citizen of one state could not 
get justice in the courts of another state. We all know 
that a citizen of Massachusetts can secure justice in 
the courts of Illinois. If a citizen of the United States 
goes to a foreign country, he and his property submit 
to the courts and laws of the country where he happens 
temporarily to reside, and, therefore, there is no rea 
son why these United States courts should exist. 

These courts do not properly belong to our system 
of Government. There is no place in a representative 
republic for an officer who can usurp power and become 
a despot. Therefore, these courts should be instantly 
abolished, and in their place courts substituted that are 
elected by the people subject to recall; that is, courts 
of the several states. 

If the people are capable of enacting laws, they are 
capable of saying what they meant by those laws when 
they enacted them; and the right to recall an unfaith 
ful servant ought to be as great on the part of the peo 
ple as upon the part of an individual. 

Abraham Lincoln, in a speech at Cincinnati, on Sep 
tember 15, 1859, declared: 

"The people of these United States are the 
rightful masters of both Congress and the 
courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but 
to overthrow the men who pervert the Con 


Lincoln said, in his first inaugural address, March 4, 

"This country with its institutions belongs 
to the people who inhabit it. WHENEVER 

The Federal courts are perverting the Constitution; 
they are undermining the foundations of free govern 
ment; these usurpations and despotism must be 
stopped. This question is ,so important and so funda 
mental that immediate action, in my opinion, must be 
had to take the Government out of the hands of the 
lawyers and the judges, and restore it to the people, if 
we wish to prevent a revolution in this country. 

The United States courts, created by act of Congress, 
can and .should be abolished by act of Congress. 

They do not belong to democratic institutions. 



The control of the machinery of the Government by 
the business interests of the United States is nowhere 
better exemplified than in the Senate of the United 
States. I was a member of the Senate for twelve years. 
During that time the Senate never legislated for the 
American people and had not the slightest regard for 
their interests. I was intimately acquained with many 
of the Senators. I came into daily contact with them, 
until I learned how they acted, under a give?i set of 
circumstances, and why. 

During my term of service in the Senate, lawyers 
always made up the majority of the senators. At times 
as many as three-quarters were lawyers. Hence fol 
lows that everything I have .said about lawyers applies 
generally to United States senators. Indeed, it was 
my two terms in the Senate that helped me to form my 
opinion of lawyers and their practices. 

The representatives of business, who held seats in 
the Senate, were not .satisfied to pass the laws that 
their clients demanded. They went out of their way to 
attacked any other senator who held a brief for the 
interests of the American people. After I had gained the 
reputation of being anti-privilege and in favor of 
human rights above property rights, they came at me 
again and again. 

From the moment that I took sides against the rail 
roads, the trusts and other forces of imperialism, I was 
a marked man. Senator after senator felt it his duty 
to go on record against me personally, as well as every 
thing that I stood for. Depew, representing the New 
York Central; Lodge, representing the conservative 
propertied interests of New England; Wolcott, repre 
senting every interest that would buy him, and David 
B. Hill, a representative of the New York business in 
terests, scored and denounced me. 

Chauncey Depew, as one of his first acts in the Sen 
ate, delivered a speech (February 7, 1900, p. 1602), in 


which he denounced my attitude toward the Philip 

Even more personal and vindictive was the attack of 
Senator Wolcott (January 15, 1900, pp. 810-12). 

In reply, I merely said : 

"Mr. President, the senator from Colorado says that 
I never speak a kind word of my fellow-senators. I am 
not going to dispute that assertion except to say that 
my relations are most pleasant with almost all of my 
fellow-senators, and I hope he will not undertake to 
hide the whole Senate behind his large personality. I 
have not spent much time in laudation of him because 
I never saw anything in his public career or private life 
worthy of praise ; but I will confess one thing, and that 
now, which ought to be his praise and his advantage 
he has a loud voice. It seems to me that his attack 
upon me is not worthy of a reply, and I shall not reply 
to it." 

With most of these men, personally, I was on good 
terms, but when it came to political and economic 
views, we were enemies. Probably under such circum 
stances I may judge the Senate and the senators more 
harshly than they deserve. At the same time, I do 
not see how it would be possible to exaggerate their 
utter fealty to business, and their supreme failure to 
do anything or even think of anything that was in the 
public interest. 

Naturally, to such a generalization, there were a 
number of honorable exceptions as, for example, that 
furnished by Senator John P. Jones, of Nevada, and 
Senator Butler, of North Carolina. 

Marion Butler was elected to the Senate of the 
United States in 1894 and took his seat in 1895, which 
was the beginning of my second term. So he served 
with me for six full years. He was elected on the peo 
ple s ticket as a Populist. He was but 30 years of age, 
a lawyer by profession, having graduated from the 
University of Virginia, and was the youngest man in 
the Senate at that time. 


Butler was a man of very decided ability and of strict 
integrity. He discharged the duties of his office with 
great credit to himself and to the state that he repre 
sented. He voted with me on almost every question, 
always against the predatory interests. He made really 
the most brilliant career of any man I ever knew in 
the Senate during his first term. He was the author of 
the Rural Free Delivery service of the Post Office De 
partment, which he secured ; also the appropriation for 
the building of the first submarine. He attacked and 
exposed the infamy of Cleveland s administration, and 
his bond sales, and also assisted me in the fight with 
regard to the railway mail pay, and in the armor-plate 
controversy he showed up many remarkable and 
startling facts. He was a member of the Committee 
on Naval Affairs, and was a sturdy opponent of graft 
and extravagance. 

John P. Jones was one of the American delegates to 
the "International Monetary Conference," held at Brus 
sels in 1892. His fellow-commissioners were James B. 
McCreary, Henry W. Cannon, president of the Chase 
National Bank of New York, and E. Benjamin An 
drews. These gentlemen knew more or less about 
money and finance, and they signed the report. There 
were other members of the commission, among them 
Senator Allison of Iowa. He did not sign the report. 
If he attended the Brussels Conference it must have 
been as an onlooker, for, if he had undertaken to dis 
cuss the question, he certainly would have been the 
laughing stock of the financiers of Europe. 

The great speech of that conference was made by 
John P. Jones of Nevada, who was the ablest man in 
the Senate of the United States during the twelve years 
that I was there. He was a careful student, had a 
great intellect, and understood the science of political 
economy and the money question. His speech in the 
Senate of the United States, delivered in October, 1893, 
is by all odds the greatest contribution to the science 
of political economy now in print. He was .seven days 


delivering that speech, which is a marvel of eloquence, 
composition and logic, and yet there were never more 
than three or four senators listening to it. As soon 
as Jones arose to speak, everyone would leave the Sen 
ate chamber in order to be sure not to possess any 
knowledge upon the question which he was presenting. 
Statesmen or scholars are rare in the Senate of the 
United States and when, by accident, one does get in 
there he is treated like a pariah. He is "not their kind" 
to the rest of the senators who are typical products of 
a political system under which it is impossible to pro 
duce scholars, for the senators, as the representatives 
of the great industrial and financial combinations who 
own and run the Government entirely, are expected to 
have, not scholarship, but facility in managing public 
affairs in the interests of the classes. The rights of 
the people are never considered. Few senators ever 
stop to ask the question, "What is the public welfare ?" 
Rather, they ask, "What does my client want?" 

Senator Jones was brought up on a farm near Cleve 
land, Ohio. When about twenty years of age he joined 
with others, secured a sailing vessel of 250 tons, sailed 
down Lake Erie through the Welland Canal, across 
Lake Ontario, and out into the ocean through the St. 
Lawrence River, and went around the south end of 
South America to California in search of gold. 

It w r as fortunate that Jones did not have a college 
education ; he had less to forget. Our colleges do not 
develop to any great degree the only human faculty 
that distinguishes men from the animals the power 
to reason. On the contrary, the college cultivates the 
memory and develops a veneration for the past. Jones 
attended the "University of Hard Knocks," which is a 
pretty good school for a man who possesses any genius, 
because his mind is not filled up with the doings of the 
dead past, and he has not learned to venerate war by 
reading Caesar until he thinks that war is the only 
road to fame. Jones was a self-made man if ever there 
was one, and he surely did an excellent job. 


After the bill had passed, authorizing the .sending of 
commissioners to the Brussels Monetary Conference, I 
was in New York and the president of the Chase Na 
tional Bank, Mr. Cannon, whom I had known in the 
West, told me that President Harrison had offered to 
appoint him one of the commissioners to the Brussels 
Monetary Conference. He wanted to consult with me 
as to whether he could afford to lower his dignity by 
accepting the appointment in view of the fact that "the 
cowboy senator from Nevada" (Jones) was to be one 
of the commissioners. In reply I told Cannon that he 
would do well, before going to Brussels, to read Jones 
report on the Brussels Monetary Conference of 1876. 
This, I told him, would give him some information on 
the subject. If he could not find time to read that re 
port, I advised him to make the acquaintance of Jones 
at the earliest moment and to talk with him all he 
possibly could on the trip, so that he would not make 
himself ridiculous when he came to speak at the con 
ference. I told him, further, that Jones knew far more 
about the subject than any other man in the United 
States, and that he could express what he knew more 
logically than anybody else. 

I did not tell Senator Jones until after he had re 
turned to this country what Cannon had said, because 
I wanted to give Cannon a show, but, after our com 
missioners had returned and had made their report 
(and the report was written by Jones), I asked the 
senator one day what he thought of Cannon. 

"Well," he replied, "Cannon, you know, like all bank 
ers, has no knowledge of the subject of money; but 
then I got along all right." 

Then I told Jones that Cannon had consulted with 
me before they went to Brussels as to whether it would 
comport with his position as president of the Chase 
National Bank to accept an appointment as a commis 
sioner to the Brussels conference in company with the 
cowboy senator from Nevada. 

Jones simply smiled. "Well," said he, "you know a 


banker has no time to spend informing himself on the 
money question. Cannon probably went into a bank 
when he was a boy and grew up there. He learned, or 
knew as much about the money question, as the aver 
age banker, but he is not to blame for that." Jones 
chuckled, and then added: "A little incident occurred 
after we returned to London, at the close of the Brus 
sels conference, which, in this connection, might amuse 
you. Rothschild, the great London banker, was a dele 
gate to the conference, listened to my speech and, im 
mediately upon our return to London, gave a dinner in 
my honor. The guests were the great financiers and 
economists of England and Cannon was not invited. 
In introducing me at the dinner, Rothschild referred to 
my ,speech on the money question at the Brussels Mone 
tary Conference as "the greatest recent contribution to 
the science of political economy. 

The next time I saw Cannon I questioned him about 
the Brussels conference and his relations with Jones. 
He said that Jones was a very pleasant and agreeable 
gentleman, but that he was of the opinion that there 
were other men at the conference far better informed 
upon the question than Jones. I finally said: "By the 
way, Cannon, did you attend the dinner given by Roth 
schild in London to Jones, at which he, in introducing 
Jones to the guests, said that Jones speech was the 
greatest recent contribution to the science of political 
economy ?" 

"Why, no," answered Cannon, "I didn t know there 
was such a dinner." 

I relate this incident to show that even in the United 
States Senate there are men whose attainments can 
command respect in the capitals of Europe. But such 
men are as rare as genius. The rank and file members 
of the Senate are such stuff as political bosses and po 
litical henchmen are made of. Of this Knute Nelson, 
of Minnesota, is an excellent example. 

Knute Nelson was elected to the United States Sen 
ate from a country town of Minnesota, where he was 


practicing law and earning about $500 a year by patch 
ing out with insurance and writing deeds. He took his 
seat in 1895 at the commencement of my second term 
in that body. 

Since he arrived in the Senate he has been a subser 
vient tool of the exploiters, never failing to vote in 
their interest. He is a representative of the two per 
cent of our population who own sixty per cent of the 
wealth. Needless to say, he has done better in the 
Senate than he did practicing law in the Minnesota 

In 1897, when the McKinley tariff was under consid 
eration in the Senate, I introduced an amendment pro 
viding for the admission, free of duty, of all articles 
that competed with trust-made products. This amend 
ment was printed and laid upon the tables of the sen 
ators to be called up at the proper time. About a week 
afterwards, Knute Nelson introduced an amendment of 
the .same import as my amendment, and had it printed 
and laid upon the tables. He waited for a few days and 
then came over to my seat and said that he would like 
to have me withdraw my amendment and have the vote 
taken on his amendment. 

Nelson," I said, "why not let my amendment be 
voted down, for it surely will be, and then call up yours, 
and I shall surely vote for it." 

"But I want you to withdraw yours so that I can 
have the credit of this effort to break the trust/ 

I looked at him for a moment and said: "Nelson, I 
would withdraw my amendment if I felt certain that 
after I had done so, you would ever offer yours or bring 
it up for consideration." 

He seemed offended at this and turned away. 

When the time came to call up my amendment there 
was a long discussion on the whole question of tariffs 
and protection. During this discussion I showed that 
the duty in the McKinley bill on oil and sugar was a 
special duty intended to raise the price of both of these 
commodities in the interest of the trust magnates. I 


read from Havemeyer s testimony passages showing 
that they controlled the price completely. I also 
showed that the oil trust was in the same situation, and 
I charged that these two trusts received the special 
fostering care of the Republican party because of their 
large campaign contributions and because of the fact 
that their stocks could be manipulated to buy the votes 
of the lawyers in the Senate. 

My amendment to the McKinley Tariff Bill finally 
came up for a vote and was defeated and Nelson voted 
against my amendment. I then went to Nelson and 
asked him if he was going to offer his amendment. 
I stated that I would like to have him do so and I would 
like to discuss it and urge its adoption, but he would 
give me no answer; I waited until the next day and 
then I offered Nelson s amendment. 

Nelson voted against his own amendment and it also 
was defeated. 

It was as I had suspected. He offered his amend 
ment as a means of getting me to withdraw mine. He 
had no intention of fighting any trust. On the con 
trary, he was as favorably inclined toward them as any 
one I ever knew. 

During the same debate on the tariff, ex-Governor 
Grier, of Iowa, showed himself a special champion of 
the sugar-oil combination. He was outshone, however, 
in this role, by Senator Walcott, of Colorado, a lawyer 
with little knowledge of the law and a great reputation 
as a phrase-maker. Walcott was also a ispecial cham 
pion of all railroads. 

Walcott entered the Senate without property. He had 
extravagant tastes and habits. His salary was far less 
than enough to pay his current bills. Yet, when he 
died, he left a large fortune. 

I was on the committee charged with deciding the 
membership of the committees of the Senate. Senator 
Teller, of Colorado, an old senator and a man of integ 
rity and character, came to me and insisted upon having 
Walcott placed upon the Committee on Finance, which 


was the most important committee in the Senate for 
a lawyer wishing to make a fortune. Although Wal- 
cott had just entered the Senate, I knew something of 
his character and caliber and I told Teller that I would 
not put him on that committee, because I believed that 
he would use that position for corrupt purposes. I 
stated that I should be very much pleased tf put him 
(Teller) on the committee, but that Walcott should not 
go on. But Teller insisted, explaining that he was a 
candidate for re-election and that Walcott would help 
him, and that he vouched for his character and integ 

As a result of Teller s guarantee, Walcott went on the 
Interstate Commerce Committee and the Finance Com 
mittee, which possibly accounts for the great fortune 
he accumulated while he was in the Senate. 

Nelson and Walcott were individuals. Their treason 
to the best interests of the American people was not 
confined to them. It was a part of the atmosphere in 
which senators lived. 

The disgraceful lengths to which the Senate was 
used as a bulwark of the vested interests is well illus 
trated in the fight over the ratification of the Spanish 
Peace Treaty. 

While the Spanish treaty was pending, there was 
bitter opposition to it because, under it, we were to 
acquire the Philippine Islands. So strong was the pro 
test against annexing the Philippines that the admin 
istration leaders were unable to round up the two- 
thirds vote necessary to pass the treaty. 

I, as leader of the opposition, had canvassed the field 
thoroughly, and knew that they would have to use 
some means to secure votes in order to pass the bill. 
Aldrich, who was paymaster of the financial combina 
tions, the trusts and the railroads, was exceedingly ac 
tive, moving around among the senators and talking to 
them at their desks. 

One day Senator Hoar of Massachusetts, a lawyer, 
came to me and said that he thought we had better 


ratify the treaty and then we could give the Philippines 
their independence afterwards. He had made a .speech 
against the treaty and had promised to fight it to the 
end. John Spooner, of Wisconsin, had made speeches 
against the treaty and promised to help me fight it to 
the bitter end, and even to filibuster if that proved nec 
essary. He voted for the treaty. When his term ex 
pired, he went to New York and began the practice of 
law. The next time he appeared in Washington it was 
as the attorney for J. Pierpont Morgan & Co. 

Senator Hoar voted against ratifying the treaty with 
Spain after everybody knew that Aldrich had votes 
enough to pass the treaty. In order to give Hoar an 
excuse for voting against the treaty, it was agreed that 
he should offer an amendment to the treaty which 
would be rejected, and then he could vote against the 
treaty because of the rejection of this amendment. In 
pursuance of this agreement, Hoar offered an inconse 
quential amendment which was rejected by the Senate 
without debate or even a roll call. Immediately there 
after the vote was taken on the treaty and Hoar voted 
against the treaty and gave as his reason that his 
amendment had been rejected. 

Billy Mason, of Illinois, and McClaren, of South Caro 
line, had both made long speeches against the ratifica 
tion of the treaty. Both of them finally voted in favor 
of it. Aldrich used to go and talk with them over their 
desks and he evidently succeeded in convincing them. 
The day before the vote was taken on the ratification 
of the treaty, I went to Davis, who was chairman of 
the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and who had repre 
sented the United States at Paris when the treaty was 
drawn up. Of course, he was pushing for the ratifica 
tion of his work. 

"Davis," I said to him over his desk in the Senate, 
"you are going to ratify this treaty, but it is the most 
terrible thing I have seen in my twelve years service 
in this body." 

"What do you mean?" he asked. 


"I mean," I replied, "the open purchase of votes to 
ratify this treaty right on the floor of the Senate and 
before the eyes of the senators and all the world." 

Davis became decidedly serious. He looked at me 
and .said in a steady voice, "They came into my office 
and tried to tell me about it and I said, Gentlemen, get 
out of here. You cannot open your stinkpot in my 

"Well," I said, "I can guess who came to your room 
and whom you ordered out. It was Aldrich, of Rhode 

To this Davis did not reply. The next day the treaty 
was ratified by a majority of one. 

Great crises like this one seldom arise in the Senate, 
but when they do there are always enough lawyers on 
hand to do the work that the corporations want done. 
Spooner, Mason, McClaren were all of them lawyers. 

The Senate is as safe for plutocracy and imperialism 
on small issues as it is on big ones even to the altera 
tion of the record of official and Senate proceedings. 

In February, 1901, Queen Victoria died. When the 
news was transmitted officially to the Senate of the 
United States, Senator Cockrell, of Missouri, a member 
of the Committee on Foreign Relations, came to me 
with the following resolution: 

"RESOLVED, That the death of her Royal and Im 
perial Majesty Queen Victoria, of noble virtue and 
great renown, is sincerely deplored by the Senate of 
the United States." 

I read the resolution and then told Cockrell that I 
certainly did object to it. I added that if it were of 
fered I would tell the whole story of the opium war and 
all its infamies on the floor of the Senate. I proposed 
to show how the English Government had forced opium 
upon China at the point of the cannon ; had bombarded 
and captured her ports and murdered her people, in 
order to compel the Chinese Government to allow the 
English Government opium monopoly to carry on its 
nefarious business among the Chinese people. I pro- 


posed to show, further, that every package of opium 
had upon it the coat of arms of Victoria, Queen of 
England. In consequence of this opposition, the reso 
lution was not presented by the Committee on Foreign 
Relations and never was passed, at least as long as I 
was a member of that body. 

However, the following appears in the Congressional 
Record of January 28, 1901 (p. 1288) : 

"Death of Queen Victoria." 

Mr. ALLISON : "Mr. President, I offer a resolution 
and ask unanimous consent for its immediate consider 
ation. The resolution will be read." 

The secretary read as follows: 

"RESOLVED, That the death of Her Royal and Im 
perial Majesty, of noble virtue and great renown, is 
sincerely deplored by the Senate of the United States 
of America." 

jection to the present consideration of the resolution? 
The Chair hears none. The question is on agreeing to 
the resolution. 

Mr. Allison submitted the following resolution which 
was considered by unanimous consent and agreed to. 

"RESOLVED, That the President pro tempore of 
the Senate causes to be conveyed to the Prime Ministe^ 
of Great Britain a suitably engrossed and duly authen 
ticated copy of the foregoing resolution." 

The above proceedings never occurred in the Senate 
and Allison never asked or received unanimous consent 
to pass the above resolution in relation to Queen Vic 
toria, The Senate had a practice of allowing any mem 
ber to make any correction in the record, which he 
might desire to make, at any time within three days, 
and the bound volumes or permanent record are made 
up from this corrected record. Allison, of Iowa, who 
was known as a "pussyfoot" among his fellow-senators, 
evidently had that item put into the permanent record 
in this way, and then notified the English Government 
that we had passed the above resolution in relation to 


the death of Queen Victoria, and thus prevented me 
from exposing to the world her infamy and the infamy 
of the British Empire. 

These are but instances of the manipulation that I 
have witnessed in the Senate. I have seen senators 
change long-held convictions over night; I have seen 
men enter the Senate poor and leave it rich ; I have seen 
situations ,saved by money, and imperialism protected 
by an altered record. Each time that these changes of 
mind have occurred over some momentous issue, the 
change has taken place in the direction of the wealth- 
owners and other interests. Not once was the public 
weal ever so much as an alleged cause of action. 

The Senate is declining in importance. It can now 
be ignored by business, whereas, twenty years ago, it 
had to be reckoned with. It had become a sort of stor 
age plant for the preservation of mediocre intellects 
and threadbare reputations. The senators themselves 
proclaim this. I quote from the official record of a 
United States Senate Committee: 

SENATOR OVERMAN: "The Committee will come 
to order. Miss Bryant, do you believe in God and in 
the sanctity of the oath ?" 

Miss BRYANT: "Certainly, I believe in the sanc 
tity of the oath." 

SENATOR KING: "Do you believe in God?" 

Miss BRYANT: "I suppose there is a God. There 
is no way of knowing." 

SENATOR NELSON : "Do you believe in the Chris 
tian religion?" 

Miss BRYANT: "I believe all people should have 
any ,sort of religion they wish." 

SENATOR NELSON: "You are not a Christian, 

Miss BRYANT: "I was christened in the Catholic 

SENATOR NELSON : "What are you now a Chris 

Miss BRYANT: "Yes, I suppose I am." 


SENATOR NELSON: "And do you believe in 

Miss BRYANT: "I believe in the teachings of 

SENATOR OVERMAN: "Do you believe in God?" 

Miss BRYANT: "Yes, I will concede that I believe 
in God, Senator Overman." 

SENATOR KING: "This is important, because a 
person who has no conception of God does not have an 
idea of the sanctity of the oath, and the oath would be 

SENATOR WALCOTT: "Do you believe in a pun 
ishment hereafter and a reward for duty?" 

Miss BRYANT: "It seems to me as if I were being 
tried for witchcraft." 

SENATOR OVERMAN: "That is not so at all." 

Miss BRYANT : "Very well, I will concede even that 
there is a hell." 

SENATOR OVERMAN: "Now, I want to find out 
about matters, in Russia and what you have observed 
there. What is your name? Where have you been 
living since you have been in Washington?" 

Miss BRYANT: " I stopped for a while at the Na 
tional Woman s Party Headquarters. . . ." 

SENATOR NELSON : "Did you belong to the picket 

Miss BRYANT: "I do not know what that had to 
do with Russia, but I did. I believe in equality for 
women as well as for men, even in my own country." 

SENATOR NELSON: "Did you participate in the 
burning of the President s message?" 


SENATOR NELSON: "Did you participate in the 
burning of the effigy?" 

Miss BRYANT: "I did, and went on a hunger- 

SENATOR OVERMAN: "What do you mean by 

(The Senators are told just what a hunger-strike is.) 


SENATOR KING: "Where did you live before you 
lived in New York ? You lived in Oregon, did you not ?" 

Miss BRYANT : "Yes, sir, but I do wish you would 
let me tell you something about Russia." 

SENATOR KING: "And your husband and Mr. Rhys 
Williams were on the staff of the Bolsheviki for the 
purpose of preparing propaganda for " 

Miss BRYANT: "A revolution in Germany." 

SENATOR KING (Shouting): "For the Bolshe 
viki !" 

Miss BRYANT: "No, for a revolution in Germany. 
... If you will allow me, I will show you the kind of 
papers they printed there. There has never been any 
secret about this propaganda. For instance 

SENATOR NELSON : "We do not care about that." 

Miss BRYANT: "You do not care about it?" 

SENATOR NELSON: "About those papers. We 
want facts !" 

Miss BRYANT: "These papers are facts and you 
must admit the facts. Here is an illustrated paper in 
German prepared for sending into the German lines in 
order to make " 

SENATOR NELSON: "Don t be so impertinent." 

Woodrow Wilson must have had episodes like this 
in mind when, on his return from Paris in the spring of 
1919, he said: "The senators of the United States have 
no use for their heads except to serve as a knot to keep 
their bodies from unraveling." 

During the winter of 1918 I went upon the floor of 
the Senate, and Lodge, of Massachusetts, who had 
served with me in the Senate for several years, got up 
from his seat and came over and shook hands with me. 

"Pettigrew," he said, "I wish you were here." 

"What for?" I asked. 

"Why," he answered, "I would like to have you here 
to shake up this rotten and contemptible Democratic 

That rather amused me, because I was not prepared 


to hear so emphatic and pronounced an expression 
from the historian of Harvard. 

A few minutes afterwards I went over to the Demo 
cratic side to shake hands with Senator Tillman, of 
South Carolina, who had also served several years with 
me in the Senate. Tillman was at that time an invalid 
and unable to stand upon his feet. When I shook hands 
with him he pulled me down near to him and said : 
"Pettigrew, I wish you were back here." 

"What for?" I asked. 

"We need you to ,shake up this rotten and corrupt 
Republican party in the Senate," he replied. 

Then I went over to Lodge and brought him to Till- 
man s chair. First I told Lodge what Tillman had said 
to me and then I told Tillman what Lodge had said to 
me. "Gentlemen," I concluded, "if I were back here I 
am sure you would both be entirely satisfied." 

Perhaps I can best conclude what I have to say about 
the United States Senate by quoting an item from the 
Washington "Post" of May 29, 1902: 


The Senate yesterday approved the conference re 
port on the water power bill without the appropriation 
for $25,000,000 for the development of the Great Falls 
water power project. The conference report, however, 
carries $25,000 for further investigation of the project. 
The vote was 45 to 21. The measure now goes to the 

A determined, though futile, attempt was made by 
Senator Norris to have the Great Falls item restored in 
the conference report. He said that since 1894 eleven 
investigations had been made, the most comprehensive 
by Colonel Langfitt, now General, in 1913, and, in his 
opinion, Congress should authorize the development of 
the project at once. 

Senator Norris said that, with the development of 
the Great Falls project, there would be twice as much 


power as would be needed to light every home and turn 
every wheel in the District of Columbia. He added 
that there should have been no coal shortage during 
the war or last winter, nor would there have been a 
water shortage if the work recommended in 1913 had 
been pushed. 

At this juncture of his speech, Senator Norris was 
interrupted by Senator Nugent, who asked why Colonel 
Langfitt s report had not been followed. 

"In my opinion, the first reason is the Potomac Elec 
tric Power Company," replied Senator Norris. "The 
second reason is the Potomac Electric Power Company, 
and the third reason is the Potomac Electric Power 
Company. There were certain other outside interests 
opposed to it also." 

Senator Nugent then asked if it was not a fact that 
the Washington Railway and Electric Company and its 
allied corporation, the power company, have blocked 
every effort of Congress to develop the Great Falls 

"Yes, that is my opinion," replied Senator Norris. 

It is the old story. The august Senate of the United 
States in leading-strings to a public utility company 
that has held its grip on the city of Washington for a 
generation. In this little thing, as in many a greater 
thing, the Senate of the United States has proved it 
self a faithful servant of predatory wealth. 

Charles Francis Adams had some experience with 
the United States Senate, as he was elected president 
of the Union Pacific Railroad by the Goulds and other 
gamblers who controlled the road in 1884. These men 
chose Adams to go to Washington and make a settle 
ment with the Government for the second mortgage 
which the Government held on the road. Ames had 
been in Washington before and had organized the 
Credit Mobilier and had bought both the House and 
Senate when the bill was passed giving the Union Paci 
fic Road the land grant and the money to build the road, 
and so it would not do for Ames to go to Washington. 


The Goulds, who owned the road with Ames, were the 
most disreputable gamblers in the United States. 
They could do nothing in Washington, .so the scamps 
these leading financiers selected Charles Francis 
Adams to go to Washington and see what could be done. 

Adams failed because he refused to corrupt the 
Houses of Congress or the members thereof, and be 
cause he would not do their kind of work. He was at 
once removed as president of the Union Pacific Rail 

I quote from page 192 of Charles Francis Adams 
autobiography : 

"I was sent over to Washington to avert the threat 
ened action of the Government, and then and there I 
had my first experience in the most hopeless and repul 
sive work in which I ever was engaged transacting 
business with the United States Government and try 
ing to accomplish something through congressional ac 
tion. My initial episode was with a prominent member 
of the United States Senate. This senator is still 
(1912) alive, though long retired. He had a great 
reputation for ability and a certain reputation, some 
what fly-blown, it is true, for rugged honesty. I can 
only say that I found him an ill-mannered bully and by 
all odds the most covertly and dangerously corrupt man 
I ever had opportunity and occasion carefully to ob 
serve in public life. His grudge against the Union Pa 
cific was that it had not retained him. While he took 
excellent care of those competing concerns which had 
been wiser in this respect, he never lost an opportunity 
of posing as the fearless antagonist of corporations 
when the Union Pacific came to the front. For that 
man, on good and sufficient grounds, I entertained a 
deep dislike. He was distinctly dishonest a senatorial 

I have tried to decide who this senator was and I am 
of the opinion it was Edmunds of Vermont. Adams 
should have given the name of the man, but I do Ed- 


munds no injustice by stating that, in my opinion, he 
was the man, although there were many other lawyers 
in the Senate at that time that would answer Adams 
description, and would do just what Adams describes 
and I know them all personally. 

Marion Butler was elected to the Senate of the 
United States in 1894 and took his ,seat in 1895, which 
was the beginning of my second term. So he served 
with me for six full years. He was elected on the peo 
ple s ticket as a Populist. He was but 30 years of age, 
a lawyer by profession, having graduated from the 
University of Virginia, and was the youngest man in 
the Senate at that time. 

Butler was a man of very decided ability and of strict 
integrity. He discharged the duties of his office with 
great credit to himself and to the state that he repre 
sented. He voted with me on almost every question, 
always against the predatory interests. He made really 
the most brilliant career of any man I ever knew in the 
Senate during his first term. He was the author of 
the Rural Free Delivery service of the Post Office De 
partment; he secured the appropriation for the build 
ing of the first submarine. He attacked and exposed 
the infamy of Cleveland s administration, and his bond 
sales, and also assisted me in the fight with regard to 
the railway mail pay, and in the armor-plate contro 
versy he showed up many remarkable and startling 
facts. He was a member of the Committee on Naval 
Affairs, and was a sturdy opponent of graft and ex 



I have been personally acquainted with every 
president of the United States from Andrew John 
son to Woodrow Wilson. With some of them my 
acquaintance was very slight. Others I knew in 
timately for many years. I saw enough of all of 
them to form a pretty definite idea of their qualities. 

These ten presidents \vere not brainy men. They 
were not men of robust character. They were pli 
able men, safe men, conservative men. Many of 
them were usable men, who served faithfully the 
business interests that stood behind them. All but 
two of them were lawyers, and they took into the 
presidency the peculiar limitations under which law 
yers suffer. 

I met Grant first in his first term in the winter of 
1871-1872 and our acquaintance lasted as long as 
he lived. Grant was a soldier not a president 
but he filled the office as acceptably as a general 
could be expected to do. 

Among the ten presidents, I am of the opinion 
that William H. Harrison was pre-eminent in ability 
and character. He was elected in 1888, beating 
Cleveland, who was then a candidate for a second 
term. Although Harrison was a strong man, he was 
not a leader. He misjudged the political machinery 
of the Republican party and had a reputation of 
being the most ungrateful person that ever occupied 
the White House. At the outset he proclaimed his 
opposition to bosses and to machine control in the 
Republican party. As soon as he was elected presi 
dent, he began to build up a machine of his own, 
using his patronage as a bait and a whip, and dis 
regarding the leaders and bosses entirely. 

Soon after I came to the Senate, in December, 
1889, I went to see the President about some of the 
appointments in the State of South Dakota, which 
had just been admitted into the Union. The Presi- 


dent immediately gave me to understand that he 
thought I was the political boss of Dakota and that 
he would have to look into the recommendations 
which I made. I do not think he ever appointed 
anyone to any political position because of my en 
dorsement. I am informed that he treated the lead 
ers in the other states in the same manner. 

Any sort of president, Republican or Democrat, 
can renominate himself for a second term. The 
power that he holds through his patronage and his 
veto enables him to appeal to the personal interest 
of a large number of influential men and thus to 
compel their support. 

The Republican leaders were strongly opposed to 
Harrison and to his re-election. Quay and Cameron, 
of Pennsylvania, Farwell, of Chicago, Tom Platt, of 
New York, and a large number of others held con 
ference after conference with a view to choosing his 
successor. They knew the power of the machine 
that the President had built up and knew it was dif 
ficult to accomplish their purpose, but, after much 
consideration, they finally decided, at a meeting 
which I attended, to persuade Elaine to be a can 

It had been the ambition of Blame s life to be 
president, and we had hoped to get him into the field 
as the only person who could beat Harrison. He was 
at that time a member of Harrison s Cabinet and 
Secretary of State. I was delegated to see Elaine 
and to report on his attitude. I went to Elaine s 
house on McPherson Square, in front of the White 
House, and had several conversations with him. In 
every instance he said that he would accept the nom 
ination but that he would not seek it, nor would he 
be a candidate. At the last interview, just before 
we went to Minneapolis for the National Conven 
tion, he told me that, in his opinion, if he were nom 
inated he would not live through the campaign, be- 


cause of the bad state of his health. Therefore, he 
was resolved to do nothing to aid in securing his 

When we arrived at the convention we found 
everything cut and dried for Harrison s renomina- 
tion, and he was nominated almost immediately. 
After the nomination had been made, a committee 
of his followers came to us by "us" I mean the 
political managers of the Republican Party in the 
various states of that date and wanted us to name 
the vice-president. We replied that we would do 
nothing of the kind. It was their ticket, nominated 
without even consulting us, and it was their job to 
elect it. 

Levi P. Morton was Vice-President and Presi 
dent of the Senate during Harrison s first term. He 
was a capable and cordial gentleman of whom we 
were all very fond, and we supposed, of course, that 
he would be nominated by Harrison s crowd, but 
he was passed over and WHITELAW REID was 
nominated in his place. 

There was a great deal of discussion over the mat 
ter and reporters tried to interview us on the out 
come of the convention. We all refused to be inter 
viewed but one reporter did get into Quay s room, 
and asked him what he thought of the ticket put up 
at Minneapolis. Quay gazed out of the window, and 
in his quaint way said, "It looks as though it might 

I returned to Washington before any of the other 
senators and the moment I went upon the floor of 
the Senate, Morton, who was in the chair, came over 
to where I was sitting and, in a very hurt tone of 
voice, wanted to know why he was not nominated 
with Harrison. I told him the facts that Harri 
son s followers had sent a delegation to us asking 
us to name the vice-president; that we told them it 
was their ticket; and that they would have to elect it 


and, therefore, they should designate Harrison s run 
ning mate. I added, "We supposed of course that 
they would nominate you, but we also believe that 
Harrison will be defeated and, therefore, we did not 
wish to participate in the nomination." 

Harrison selected, for the important post of Chair 
man of the Republican National Committee, Senator 
Carter, of Montana. Tom Carter was a bright man. 
He was a lawyer of considerable ability and had a 
wide knowledge of the law, but he was ignorant of 
the methods employed by the Republican Party ma 
chine to win a campaign. 

Carter did not know how to go about reaching 
the bankers, the railroad financiers, the trust mag 
nates and the other exploiters who controlled the 
surplus of American wealth. He did secure a con 
tribution of $400,000 from Cramp, the shipbuilder, 
by telling Cramp that if he put up $400,000 it would, 
beyond a doubt, elect Harrison. He also told Cramp 
where the money would be laid out in order to secure 
this result, and assured him that he would see that 
Cramp got the money back out of building ships for 
the Government as soon as Harrison took office. 

Campaign funds were not usually raised in this 
rough fashion. Instead, the campaign managers 
went to the real government, the managers of rail 
roads, the great industrial, financial and transporta 
tion interests, and secured their contribution with 
out any direct promise as to the method of using the 
funds, leaving that to come along as a matter of 
course in case of success. 

Had the Republican managers been in control of 
the campaign, none of these sources would have been 
neglected. As it was, while Tom Carter s crowd was 
fooling around, these sources of funds were pre-empted 
by Grover Cleveland, who was the Democratic can 
didate against Harrison. As a result of this mis- 


management, Harrison was badly beaten at the polls 
and Grover Cleveland was elected in his place. 

Never do I hope to deal with a more difficult hu 
man being than Grover Cleveland. His naturally 
perverse disposition was supplemented by personal 
habits that made it next to impossible for anyone to 
work with him. 

In the Senate of the United States, on June 3, 
1896, I made a speech on the River and Harbor Bill 
that was then under consideration. Cleveland had 
vetoed the bill, and while I was opposed to it I felt 
bound to vote for its passage over the veto, because I 
believed that the President had violated his oath of 
office by vetoing the bill. I believe that the veto 
power was never intended by the Constitution or its 
framers to be used as a legislating instrument. In 
that speech I referred to Grover Cleveland as fol 

"The present occupant of the White House is not 
content with the violation of the Constitution by the 
exercise of the veto power alone, but with an utter 
disregard of his sacred oath of office, as well as the 
Constitution, he overrides the law r s, influences con 
gressmen with patronage, enriches his favorites at 
the public expense in fact, permits no restraint but 
his imperial will. I think he might fairly be charged 
with high crimes and misdemeanors. He has exer 
cised the veto power in direct violation of the Con 
stitution. He has appointed men to office without 
the advice and consent of the Senate. He has defied 
the Senate and the Constitution alike by appointing 
men to official positions after the Senate has twice 
refused its consent, and still retains them in office. 

"During his first term he openly used his appoint 
ing power to intimidate members of Congress, and 
during his second term he had given appointments 
to members of Congress for the purpose of securing 
their votes upon measures pending in the two Houses. 


"On his own motion he has undertaken to over 
throw the Hawaiian Government, doing acts in di 
rect violation of the Constitution. He has borrowed 
money in violation of the law for ordinary expenses of 
the Government, and then falsified the facts in re 
lation thereto in a message to Congress. He has 
refused to remit taxes as required by law, and has 
collected taxes unlawfully. He has refused to en 
force the laws of Congress so often that the list of 
violations is next only to the list of his vetoes. He 
has sold bonds at private sale to his favorites and 
former associates upon terms and at a price many 
millions of dollars below the market price of the 
bonds on the day of such private sales. In view of 
these facts it is time for Congress to give some atten 
tion to these usurpations. If this Government is to 
survive, we can no longer look with indifference upon 
the shameful autocracy of Grover Cleveland." 

In this connection, I referred to his veto record as 
unparalleled in our history, and showed that he had 
vetoed up to the first of May, 1896, 551 bills in his two 
terms as President, while all the other Presidents of 
the United States together had vetoed but 109 bills 
passed by Congress. 

Cleveland was reputed to have certain rugged vir 
tues. The only one that I remember his friends boast 
ing about was that he should do as he agreed. He 
continued his career as a vetoer until the end of his 
term, or, rather, until the end of January, 1897. During 
February he was reported to be so drunk that he was 
incapacitated from public business. A prominent Dem 
ocratic member of Congress told me, at that time, that 
he went to the White House to see the President and 
found Cleveland lying on the floor in a rather hilarious 
state of intoxication. Many other stories of a similar 
character many of them worse came to our ears 
during the last days of this disgraceful administra 


Most of the great appropriation bills are passed dur 
ing the closing days of Congress. An act of Congress, 
having been sent to the President, must be vetoed by 
him within ten days, otherwise it becomes a law with 
out his signature if Congress is in session. If Congress 
expires during the ten days, the unsigned bill is not a 
law, and this is called a pocket veto. Cleveland thus 
vetoed all of the bills which were sent to him during 
the last ten days of Congress. Thus he made it 
necessary for his successor, McKinley, to call an extra 
session of Congress immediately, in order to pass the 
appropriation bills and thus secure sufficient funds for 
the running of the Government. 

On the 4th of March, Grover Cleveland came to the 
Senate, as is the custom, to see his successor inaugu 
rated. My seat was the first seat on the main aisle. 
Grover Cleveland was brought in by two or three men 
and placed in a chair right across the aisle from me. 
He was still stupidly intoxicated, his face was bloated, 
and he was a sight to behold. He did not seem to know 
what was occurring, but looked like a great lump of 
discolored flesh. When McKinley had delivered his ad 
dress and had taken his oath of office, Cleveland was 
carried out of the Senate by the men who brought him 
in, and I understand was loaded into a carriage and 
taken to the wharf in Washington and there loaded on 
a yacht and I think it was Benedict s yacht (he was 
a very wealthy man, a citizen of New York, and was 
one of the chief factors in running Cleveland s admin 
istration in the interests of big business). The yacht 
sailed down the Potomac with Cleveland for a few 
weeks so that he could wind up his spree. 

I have not written about Grover Cleveland for the 
purpose of attacking him or his private life, or from 
any feeling of personal animosity or ill-will, but be 
cause these things are a part, and a vital part, of his 
public and official life as President of the United States, 
and account for his erratic conduct as chief executive 
of this great nation, and no accurate history of his ca- 


reer as President can be written and fail to consider the 
two Clevelands drunk and sober. His ultimatum to 
England in the Venezuela affair; his conduct with re 
gard to Hawaii, and his hundreds of vetoes and his 
bond sales, in violation of his oath, and of the Consti 
tution, can in this way only be accounted for. 

None of his successors approached Cleveland in per 
sonal uncleanliness, but the political records of some of 
them were far from enviable. 

I took my seat in the Senate in December, 1889. Dur 
ing that session of Congress the McKinley Tariff Bill 
was under discussion in the House of Representatives, 
and I think the only thing for which I was interested in 
having tariff protection was metallic tin cacitevite. I 
interviewed members of the House Committee, of 
which William McKinley was chairman, and asked that 
a certain duty be placed on metallic tin. 

LaFollette, of Wisconsin (now Senator LaFollette), 
was a member of this committee. I had known him 
from boyhood and we were good friends ; consequently, 
he promised to attend to the matter of the tariff on tin 
for me. However, I ,saw nearly every member of the 
committee, including the chairman, Mr. McKinley, and 
I got from McKinley a definite promise that he would 
do all he could to secure the tariff I wanted on metallic 

Dalzell, of Pennsylvania, was a member of the 
committee from Pittsburgh, where they made tin 
plate. His clients wanted a very high tariff on tin 
plate but wanted the metallic tin to come in free of 
duty so that the manufacturers of the black plates 
might make an added profit. Dalzell told me that 
he was opposed to any tariff upon metallic tin, which 
made me still more active until I thought I had the 
promise of the majority of the committee to stand 
for a tariff on metallic tin. 

When the matter came up for a vote in the com 
mittee (I think the whole committee was present), 


the vote on the tin schedule was a tie. The chair 
man, McKinley, was compelled to cast the deciding 
vote, and he voted against the duty and against what 
he had specifically promised me. LaFollette imme 
diately wrote down the names of the committee mem 
bers who had voted for and against the tariff on 
tin and also the fact that McKinley had cast the 
deciding vote against me, and sent it by. a page over 
to the Senate. 

I went over to the House of Representatives and, 
as I went upon the floor of the House in the direc 
tion of McKinley s seat, I met McKinley in the aisle 
coming from the session of the tariff committee. 

"McKinley," I said, "how are you getting along 
with the duty on metallic tin?" 

He was very patronizing and conciliating. "Well, 
Senator/ he said, "I do not believe we can get it 
through my committee." 

"How in the devil do you expect to get it through 
your committee," I replied, "when you vote against 
it yourself?" 

He shrank a little under my remark, then he ral 
lied and said: "Well, I concluded that it was not 
best to put a duty on metallic tin." 

"If you had told me that in the first place," I an 
swered, "instead of lying to me about it, I would 
have some respect for you. That would have given 
me a chance to have worked a little harder and to 
find someone on the committee that would tell the 

The incident gave me an insight into McKinley s 
character and may possibly have had something to 
do, in addition to other things, with my walking out 
of the St. Louis Convention in 1895, after McKinley s 
nomination. I always had the impression that the 
course pursued by McKinley in the committee of the 
House was characteristic of the man, and I am still 


of the opinion that as President he continued the 
same practices. 

There is nothing that better illustrates President 
William McKinley than his agreement with the Sultan 
of Sulu, and his double dealing in connection with the 
same. I quote from the Congressional Record of Jan 
uary 21, 1900. 

"Manilla special, July 12, 1899. 

"General Bates, in the capacity of agent of the 
United States Government, sailed for Jolo this morning 
to negotiate with the Sultan of Jolo regarding the fu 
ture relations of the Jolo (or Sulu) Archipeligo, includ 
ing the Basilians, as a naval station. The Sultan as 
sumes that the Jolos reverted to him, the evacuation 
of the Spaniards nullifying hte treaty of 1878. General 
Bates will explain to the Sultan that the Americans 
succeeded the Spaniards in the treaty assuming its 
obligations and continuing the annuities it provides for. 
He will also present to the Sultan $10,000 in Mexican 
money as an evidence of good will. The local adminis 
tration of the Jolos will remain unchanged. The Sultan 
will enforce the law, and will also be expected to fly the 
American flag continuously and co-operate with Am 
erica to maintain order and suppress piracy. 

"General Bates then entered into the following agree 

" Agreement between Brig. Gen. John C. 
Bates, representing the United States, of the 
one part, and His Highness, the Sultan of 
Sulu ; it being understood that this agreement 
will be in full force only when confirmed by 
the President of the United States, and will 
be subject to future modifications by the mu 
tual consent of the parties in interest. 

"I deem it proper to state that this agreement has 
been confirmed by the President of the United States 
in a letter transmitting the treaty to the Senate. How- 


ever, this is a treaty apparently with a quasi sovereign 
power, over which the Senate, according to our new 
doctrine of imperialism, has no other authority and no 
control, and it requires no ratification by the Senate 
and no consideration on our part. 

" Article 1. The sovereignty of the United 
States over the whole archipelago of Sulu and 
its dependencies is declared and acknowledged. 

" Article 2. The United States flag will be 
used in the archipelago of Sulu and its depen 
dencies on land and sea. 

" Article 3. The rights and dignities of his 
highness the Sultan and his datos shall be fully 
respected; all their religious customs shall be 
respected, and no one shall be persecuted on 
account of his religion. 

" Article 4. While the United States may- 
occupy and control such points in the archi 
pelago of Sulu as public interests seem to de 
mand, encroachment will not be made upon the 
lands immediately about the residence of his 
highness the Sultan unless military necessity 
require such occupation in case of war with a 
foreign power, and where the property of in 
dividuals is taken, due compensation will be 
made in each case. 

" Article 10. Any slave in the archipelago 
of Sulu .shall have the right to purchase free 
dom by paying to the master the usual market 

" Article 12. At present Americans or for 
eigners wishing to go into the country should 
state their wishes to the Moro authorities and 
ask for an escort, but it is hoped this will be 
come unnecessary as we know each other bet 

" Article 13. The United States will give 
full protection to the Sultan and his subjects 


in case any foreign nation shall attempt to 
impose upon them. 

Article 14. The United States will not sell 
the island of Sulu or any other island of the 
Sulu Archipelago to any foreign nation with 
out the consent of the Sultan of Sulu. 

"Article 15. The United States Govern 
ment will pay the following monthly salaries: 
" To the Sultan, $250 ; to Dato Muda, $75 ; 
to Datto Attik, $60; to Dato Calbe, $75; to 
Dato Joakanain, $75; to Dato Puyo, $60; to 
Dato Amir Haissin, $60; to Habji Buter, $50; 
to Habib Mura, $40; to Serif Saguin, $15. 

Signed in triplicate, in English and Sulu, 
at Jolo, this 20th day of August, A. D., 1899 
(13th Arakuil Akil 1317). 


" Signed: J. C. BATES, 
Brigadier-General, U. S. V. 

"The annual aggregate of these .salaries is $9,120. 
The Spanish agreement was for $6,300 a year. This 
agreement was one we offered to the Sultan, not one 
that he insisted upon. It is our own proposition that 
we are to maintain slavery in the Sulu Islands. 

"Farther than that, Mr. President, an investiga 
tion would show that, although this agreement 
was made on the 20th day of August, it was not pos 
sible to secure from the State Department a copy of 
the agreement until after the election in Ohio. 

"I say this agreement, when the Associated Press 
tried to get a copy of it before the Senate convened, 
was furnished in Arabic, and an Arabic used in the 
Sulu Islands. Therefore it was not possible to have 


it translated in the United States, and we only got 
this copy which I have read after Congress convened 
and after the elections last fall were over. This is on 
a par and in line with the whole business of concealing 
from the American people the facts in regard to our 
maiden foreign venture. We are unable to procure 
the truth through General Otis. Mr. Collins, of the 
Associated Press, says the censor told him he was to 
send nothing and they were going to allow nothing 
to be sent that would injure the Administration or 
help Mr. Bryan. 

"Here is an agreement by which we are to main 
tain not only slavery, but polygamy in the Sulu Islands. 
Here is an agreement by which our flag is made to float 
over two crimes; and we further solemnly agree that 
no nation in the world shall be permitted to interfere. 
It is the chief part of the business of the Sultan of 
Sulu to get into quarrels with the natives of the in 
terior in the island of Mindanao; then to declare that 
they are in revolt against his authority. Upon this 
pretext he takes prisoners and sells them into slavery, 
the planters of Borneo being the purchasers. That has 
been his business heretofore whenever he needed 
money. We now propose to maintain that sort of 
thing under the flag of the United States, and we stipu 
late, and the stipulation is approved by the President, 
that no foreign nation shall be permitted to interfere." 

MR. SPOONER: "Does the Senator wish to be un 
derstood as asserting that the President approved ar 
ticle 10 of this agreement, which refers to slavery in 
the archipelago of Sulu?" 


MR. SPOONER: "Well, the President -says in his 
message and if the Senator will permit me I will read 

" I have confirmed said agreement, subject 
to the action of the Congress, and with the 
reservation, which I have directed shall be 


communicated to the Sultan of Jolo, that this 
agreement is not to be deemed in any way to 
authorize or give the consent of the United 
States to the existence of slavery in the Sulu 
Archipelago. I communicate these facts to 
the Congress for its information and action. 

BY MR. PETTIGREW: "The President approver 
of an agreement which provides that the slave may 
purchase his liberty at the usual market price, and 
according to the first paragraph of the agreement it 
goes in full force upon the approval of the President 
and cannot after that be altered except by another 
agreement. This transaction is on a par with all the 
other inconsistencies attached to this miserable busi 
ness. He then says that he wants the Sultan to un 
derstand that he does not authorize slavery; though 
he has approved the agreement which ratifies slavery. 
How could he transmit the agreement to us with his 
approval and then send back word to the Sultan that 
he did not wish to be understood as approving slavery? 
Who knows whether or not the word will ever get to 
the Sultan? 

"Almost everything we receive here in regard to this 
matter is on a par with the transmittal to the Asso 
ciated Press of a copy of the Sulu agreement in Sulu 
Arabic to conceal the infamy until after the elections 
were over last fall. It is on a par with the statement 
of the commisisoners who made this agreement, which 
I shall proceed to read. Mr. Schurman in an interview 

" It seems to me that were it not for the ig 
norance displayed the present hue and cry 
about polygamy and slavery in these islands 
would be absolutely criminal/ 

"If it were not for the ignorance displayed, the 
present hue and cry about polygamy and slavery would 
be absolutely criminal I suppose the hue and cry 


about slavery before our civil war was criminal. Many 
people so asserted, many people honestly .so believed, 
and I presume that Mr. Schurman honestly believes 
that the hue and cry about polygamy and slavery again 
existing under the flag of the United States would be 
criminal but for the ignorance of the people who cause 

"In taking over the Sulu group we have acquired no 
rights of any sort there except those bequeathed us 
by Spain. 

"And yet the President, time and again during last 
fall in his speeches everywhere made to the people, 
asserted that the flag meant the same thing every 
where, meant the same here, in the Sulu group, and in 
Hawaii; that it meant in every place the same, and 
that its presence conferred liberty and happiness upon 
the people under it. 

"She was bound by her agreement with the Sultan 
not to interfere with the religion or customs of the 
islands, and it would be most unwise for us to attempt 
this by force when it can be ultimately accomplished 
by the slower method of civilization and education. 

"Mr. President, we tried the slower method of dis 
posing of slavery and polygamy in the United States, 
also the slower method of civilization, but finally we 
resorted to war the greatest war in modern times 
and thereby succeeded in destroying .slavery under 
our flag. It has been restored by the act of a Presi 
dent elected by the Republican party. How will it 
strike the veterans of that war to annex slavery after 
all these sacrifices and then propose to abolish it when 
the slaveholders conclude it is wrong and give their 
consent ?" 

"The Sulu group proper contains about 100,000 in 
habitants. They are all Mohammedans. To attempt 
to interfere with the religion of these people would 
precipitate one of the bloodiest wars in which this 
country has ever been engaged. They are religious 
fanatics of the most pronounced type, who care nothing 


for death and believe that the road to heaven can be 
attained by killing Christians. Polygamy is a part 
of their religion, and slavery, about which so much 
is being said just now, is a mild type of feudal homage. 
The Sultan believes from what he has seen of Ameri 
cans that they are ready to be friendly and deal hon 
estly by him. 

"Mr. President, I will show what kind of feudal 
homage this .slavery in the Philippines is. Owing to 
the fact that those people will fight, we prefer to 
enforce slavery and polygamy, and we attack the Chris 
tians in the island of Luzon and compel them to sur 
render what? Surrender their desire for a govern 
ment of their own. We prefer to turn from polygamy 
and slavery and endorse them, put our flag over them, 
and declare that nobody shall interfere with them, and 
then turn our armies and our navies to the destruction 
of the independence and freedom of a Christian popu 
lation, which we also purchased from Spain. 

I will read from the second edition of Mr. Foreman s 
book, which was published in 1899, and brought up to 
date. He says: 

" The Sultanate is hereditary under the 
Salic law. The Sultan is supported by three 
ministers, one of whom acts as regent in his 
absence (for he might have to go to Mecca, 
if he had not previously done so), the other 
is minister of war, and the third is minister of 
justice and master of the ceremonies. 

" Slavery exists in a most ample sense. 
There are slaves by birth and others by con 
quest, such as prisoners of war, insolvent 
debtors, and those seized by piratical expedi 
tions to other islands. A Creole friend of 
mine, Don A. M. was one of these last. He 
had commenced clearing an estate for cane 
growing on the Negros coast some years ago, 
when he was -seized and carried off to Sulu 


Island. In a few years he was ransomed and 
returned to Negros, where he formed one of 
the finest sugar haciendas and factories in 
the colony. 

"I now read from Social History of the Races of 
Mankind, by Featherman: 

" Slavery exists on Sulu Island, and the 
slaves, who were formerly brought from the 
Philippines, are not well treated, for their 
masters exercise the power of life and death 
over them, and sometimes kill them for tri 
fling offenses. The dates frequently punish a 
disobedient or fugitive slave by drawing their 
campilan or kris and cutting off his head at 
one strike without process of law. 
"And this is the mild form of feudal homage Schur- 
man would have us believe should enjoy the protec 
tion of our flag until we can persuade the slaveholders 
that it is wrong. 

"Why did Schurman make this statement? The 
reason is plain. He did it just before the elections; 
about the time the State Department gave out the 
Sulu copy of the treaty for the information of the 
people of the United States. I contend that after this 
statement, made at the time it was made by Mr. Schur 
man with an evident purpose to deceive, he has for 
feited all right to be believed by anybody hereafter, 
and that his statements on all subjects in relation to 
the Philippines are not worthy of credence. 

"I read also from St. John s Far East, volume 2, 
page 192, as follows : 

" The slaves are collected from all parts of 
the archipelago, from Acheen Head in New 
Guinea, and from the south of Siam to the 
most northern parts of the Philippines. It 
is a regular slave market. 

"Then he describes the people. Not only have the 
slaveholders the right of life and death over their 


slaves, but the monarch himself has complete and 
full right to take the life of any of his -subjects when 
ever he chooses. There is no restraint upon him." 

I was intimately acquainted with Roosevelt for a 
great many years, having met him first at Bismarck, 
in 1884 and 1885. 

About 1909 I was the guest of Robert Hunter at a 
dinner at the Alden Club in New York City. At this 
dinner, Arthur Brisbane, Morris Hilquit, Professor 
Giddings, of Columbia University, and others were 
present. After discussing many questions with these 
radicals and socialists questions that covered a 
wide range of socialism, imperialism and social and 
economic justice Professor Giddings turned to me 
abruptly and asked, "What do you think of Roose 
velt?" I replied that I had known him intimately 
for years and that when I was with him he made me 
believe that he was sincere and honest in his expres 
sion of his views as to what should be done and 
what he wanted to do, but that when I was away 
from his presence he did or said something that made 
me doubt. Thereupon Professor Giddings replied 
that he had known Roosevelt from boyhood and 
watched him from every position and that when he 
was with him and talked with him face to face he 
always came away convinced that Roosevelt was 
the greatest faker in the world, but that when he 
was not present with him, Roosevelt did or said some 
thing that made him doubt. 

We continued to talk about Roosevelt and I fin 
ally told the company that I had just been to Wash 
ington at Roosevelt s request, he having written me 
that he was very anxious to see me. On arriving in 
Washington I went to the White House and called 
upon Roosevelt, and as I came in he rushed across 
the room, extending both hands, and said at once 
that he wanted me to secure Democratic votes 
enough to pass the Hepburn Railroad Bill through 


the Senate. He said that Aldrich was opposing it 
and trying to amend it so that it would amount to 

I immediately replied that I was not in favor of 
the Hepburn Bill in any form, that the only remedy 
was the Government ownership of the railroads 
that the railroads were the highways of the nation, 
and should be operated for the benefit of the whole 
people of the United States and not for private profit. 
Roosevelt immediately said: "I have the bill here at 
the White House which you introduced for the Gov 
ernment ownership of the railroads; also the argu 
ment you made in support of the same." And he 
went and brought out both the argument and the 
bill. Then he said: "We cannot pass a bill for Gov 
ernment ownership at the present time and I am 
therefore very anxious to try regulating the rail 

I replied that regulation was entirely futile and 
useless for the reason that, if the power to regulate 
the railroads and to fix the rate were placed in the 
hands of any commission, the railroads would at 
once own the commission that a railroad man, 
J. Lowery Bell, who was receiving $12,000 a year 
as superintendent of a railroad, was the second as 
sistant Postmaster General at $4,000 a year, in 
charge of the Railway Mail Service of the Postoffice 
Department during the whole twelve years that I 
was in the Senate, and therefore it was perfectly 
idle to try to regulate the railroads and their rates 
through any commission, no matter who selected it, 
for it would ultimately be selected by the railroads 

I said, "Do you know the Hepburn Bill cuts off 
broad court review and only allows the courts to 
review as to the law but not as to the facts? The 
Hepburn Bill also empowers the Interstate Com 
merce Commission to make rates; in fact, to initiate 


rates." And I added, "Do you want these two 
things? Are they what you desire?" 

Roosevelt jumped up and said, "Yes, that is just 
what I want." 

"Well," I said, "if you will stand for that I will 
see what can be done." 

The next day I took two senators to the White 
House two Democrats and told Roosevelt that 
these two men would assist him in getting others, and 
that they could furnish votes enough to put the bill 
through in spite of Mr. Aldrich. But I added 
"Roosevelt, you are so partisan a Republican that I 
feel that we run great risk in dealing with you at 
all, because you are liable, after you see you can pass 
the bill, to make a deal with Aldrich and abandon 
your democratic allies in the interests of party har 
mony." He thereupon .pounded the table and declared 
he would never surrender, but would stand to the end. 

When I had finished this statement, Professor Gid- 
dings remarked that he knew Roosevelt far better 
than I did, and that Roosevelt would sell me out 
together with the democratic senators and make a 
deal with Aldrich, and pass the bill in the form 
which would be satisfactory to the railroads. That 
is exactly what Roosevelt did. 

This episode convinced me of what I had before 
suspected that Roosevelt never stood for anything 
that was against the settled interests of those who 
were exploiting the American people. 

After Taft had been nominated, in 1912, Roose 
velt asked me to come to his home at Oyster Bay on 
Long Island, as he wished to talk with me about the 
political situation. Accordingly I went to Oyster Bay 
and spent the day with him. 

When I went into the library at Oyster Bay, Roose 
velt rushed across the room, put out both hands and 
said : "Pettigrew, you were right about Taft. Are 
you going to support me?" 


"I said, "Why, Roosevelt, I didn t know you were 
running for anything." 

He said: "I am going to run as an independent 
candidate for President." 

I said, "Well, I don t think I will support you; 
there is no sense in your running all you can ac 
complish is to elect Woodrow Wilson, and that will 
be a national disaster." 

He said: "Oh, well, we might as well suffer four 
years under Wilson as four years more under Taft." 

I said, "No, there is a great difference. Taft is 
amiable imbecility. Wilson is wilful and malicious 
imbecility and I prefer Taft." 

Roosevelt then said : "Pettigrew, you know the two 
old parties are just alike. They are both controlled 
by the same influences, and I am going to organize 
a new party a new political party in this country 
based upon progressive principles. We won t win 
this year, but four years from now we will elect the 
President, and you are going to support me." 

1 said, "Roosevelt, if you mean that you will stand 
for a new party I recognize the great necessity of 
it the two old parties are absolutely dominated by 
the predatory interests, and if your platform suits 
me I will certainly support you." 

Roosevelt then said, "What do you want in that 
platform?" And I began to tell him that I wanted 
government ownership of the railroads; I wanted 
a reformation of the financial system by which money 
would be issued by the Government and the Govern 
ment alone, and many other radical things. In fact, 
Roosevelt and I sat down that afternoon and drew 
the platform. When we had finished, Roosevelt 

"Now are you going to support me?" 

And I said : "If your convention adopts that plat 
form I will support you, and when the convention 
afterward adopted the platform I wrote Roosevelt I 


would give him my hearty support; and I did, and 
I carried South Dakota for him in the election. 

I told him that I considered the issue and the con 
trol of money of great and vital importance, and we 
finally agreed on the plank that appeared in his 
platform, i.e., that the issue of money should not be 
subject to private manipulation, but should be con 
trolled absolutely by the Government in the interests 
of the people. 

We then talked about the labor planks as related 
to men, women and children. 

After the convention had adopted a platform and 
nominated Roosevelt as a Progressive, I received a 
letter from him asking me if I intended to support 
him and if the platform was satisfactory. I answered 
briefly that I would support him because of his state 
ment to me that he would organize a permanent 
party in the interests of social and economic justice, 
and because of the progressive principles that he had 
placed in his platform. 

I am now convinced that he never had any real 
intention of organizing a permanent progressive 
party. As an egoist his chief interest centered 
around his own personality; the nomination of Taft 
was so sharp a blow to his self-love that there was 
nothing for him to do except to throw himself into 
the limelight in another direction. His over-regard 
for himself, which had grown so rapidly during his 
later years, tended to make him, par excellence, the 
monumental faker of the world. In playing this 
role, he was simply following out the line of conduct 
established during his early years in public life. 

When the battleship MAINE was blown up in 
Havana Harbor, just previous to the war with Spain, 
Col. Melvin Grigsby was at Fort Pierre, S. D. Fort 
Pierre is on the west side of the Missouri River and 
in the very heart of the greatest cattle range in 
America. Here it was that Catlin met the Sioux 


chiefs and thousands of Indians in 1832. In this 
country were the greatest buffalo pastures in the 

Col. Grigsby was a veteran of the Civil War, hav 
ing seen four years of service a man of great cour 
age and superior intelligence. And from Fort Pierre 
he telegraphed President McKinley that the sinking 
of the MAINE meant war, and that the best soldiers 
that could be secured on short notice for the war 
with Spain were the cowboys of the plains. He offered 
his service in this connection. Shortly afterward, 
Col. Grigsby came to Washington and secured an 
amendment to the bill, which had already passed the 
House, authorizing the raising of volunteers for the 
Spanish War, which provided that 3,000 men of spe 
cial fitness might be recruited independently, the 
officers to be appointed by the President. 

At this time, Theodore Roosevelt was Assistant Sec 
retary of the Navy. Leonard Wood was a contract 
surgeon in the army of the United States, located at 
Washington and detailed to attend to Mrs. McKinley. 
He applied to be appointed one of the colonels of 
one of the Rough Rider regiments of cowboys, and 
Theodore Roosevelt applied to be appointed Lieu 
tenant Colonel of the same regiment. These two 
doughty soldiers, with no experience except Mr. 
Roosevelt s experience as a cowboy one season on the 
little Missouri River, and Wood s experience as a 
contract surgeon, received their respective appoint 
ments. They raised a regiment of so-called cow 
boys in the eastern states and went to Florida. 

From Florida they embarked for Cuba, leaving 
their horses behind. They landed east of Santiago 
and started through the jungle for San Juan Hill, 
General Wood being colonel of the regiment and 
Mr. Roosevelt acting as lieutenant colonel. 

About ten miles from San Juan Hill, they were 
ambushed by the Spaniards and some of the Rough 


Riders were wounded in what was called the El 
Caney fight. They would have been cut to pieces, 
but General , in command of some regi 
ments of Negro troops, rushed in these colored regu 
lars and rescued Wood and his doughty lieutenant- 
colonel from the hands of the Spaniards. 

The Rough Riders all on foot, for they had left 
their horses back in Florida then proceeded to a 
field near the foot of Kettle Hill, which blanketed 
San Juan Hill, and remained there until General 

and his colored troops took San Juan Hill 

from the Spaniards. 

After San Juan Hill had been captured, Col. Wood 
and Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt charged up Kettle 
Hill, where there was nothing but an old kettle which 
had been used for evaporating sugar cane juice. 
There were no fortifications or trenches or block 
houses, or Spaniards, dead or alive, on Kettle Hill. 
Yet Roosevelt, in his book "History of the Spanish 
War/ says that he charged up San Juan Hill and 
found the trenches full of dead Spaniards with little 
holes in their foreheads, and that two Spaniards 
jumped up and ran away, and that he missed one of 
them but killed the other with a shot in the back 
from his revolver. 

I refer to the records of the War Department, 
which show that Roosevelt had nothing to do with 
the taking of San Juan Hill. I refer also to a pam 
phlet by Colonel Bacon, of Brooklyn, in which he 
says that he secured affidavits of one hundred sol 
diers and officers who were in the campaign to take 
Santiago, and that all of them testified that Roose 
velt was not in the battle of San Juan Hill, or, in fact, 
in any other battle except the ambush at El Caney. 

Afterwards, when Roosevelt became President of 
the United States, he posed on horseback at Fort 
Meyer, and had his picture painted by a famous Ger 
man artist, charging up San Juan Hill. 


After the Spanish War was over, Mr. Roosevelt 
located in the city of Washington, and, having in 
herited a fortune, the tax assessor of New York 
placed him on the tax list for a large sum as resident 
of New York State. Mr. Roosevelt thereupon swore 
off his taxes, swearing that he was not a resident 
of the State of New York, but of the city of Wash 
ington, and, not being a citizen of New York, was 
not liable to taxes under the laws of that state. 

Shortly after taking this oath, Boss Platt called 
upon Mr. Roosevelt and proposed that he should be 
a candidate for Governor of New York. Roosevelt 
promptly replied that he could not run for Governor 
as he was not a citizen of New York, and related the 
incident of his swearing off his taxes. Platt there 
upon remarked : "Is the hero of San Juan Hill going 
to show the white feather?" 

Mr. Roosevelt answered, in his dramatic and elo 
quent way, that he was no coward, and would be a 

After election, when he came to take the oath of 
office as Governor of New York, he had to swear 
that he was a citizen of the State of New York. But 
sufficient time had not elapsed for him to acquire 
citizenship since he had sworn that he was not a 
citizen of the state. The difficulty was overcome by 
Elihu Root s statement that domicile in Washington 
for the purpose of escaping taxes in the State of New 
York was not a sufficient loss of citizenship to dis 
qualify Roosevelt for governor. Root was afterwards 
much pampered and petted by Roosevelt when he 
became President of the United States. 

Having by accident become President, Roosevelt 
served out McKinley s term and was then nominated 
and elected. At the end of four years more, having 
named Taft as his successor, Roosevelt concluded to 
emulate the exploits of the Romans and add Afri- 
canus to his name. Scipio had conquered provinces 


in Africa and led their kings and princes and poten 
tates in triumph. Roosevelt s triumph was graced 
with elephants feet and leopards tails, and, on his 
way back to his own country to enjoy his triumph, he 
stopped in Paris long enough to address the great 
literary and scientific society founded by Voltaire, 
whose president was Pasteur, the discoverer of many 
scientific marvels. And to this body of students of 
science and biology and literature Teddy delivered 
his oration of thirty minutes in length, advising them 
to raise babies! 

And this was not the end of his achievements. He 
examined the map of South America and found a 
strip of country marked upon all the geographies as 
unknown or unexplored a little west of and south 
of the mouth of the Madeira River. He went in by 
way of Paraguay, and striking this unknown region 
at its southern extremity passed down through the 
tropical jungle of this country to the mouth, and 
announced to the world that he had discovered a 
new river of great importance a new and unknown 
river, thus adding to his exploits as a conqueror in 
Africa the proud name of discoverer. But, after he 
had announced to the world his great discovery, it 
was found that at the mouth of this river there was 
a small Spanish town which had existed for two 
centuries and that for over a hundred and fifty years 
the river had been navigated to the first falls by the 
Spanish gatherers of rubber. 

Roosevelt was a dramatic artist first and a presi 
dent afterwards. All of his actions were strongly 
colored by his love for effect. He posed. That was 
his life. Of his succesor, Taft, nothing need be 
added to the characterization "an amiable man 
weighing 250 pounds." 

Woodrow Wilson was not a Democrat after 1896. 
In that year he left the party for the same reason 
that I joined it. He came back and voted for Parker 


in 1904, and for the same reason that led me not to 
vote for Parker. Wilson did not support Bryan in 
1908. At no time was he an advocate of the prin 
ciples of progressive democracy. 

I first met Woodrow Wilson the year before he 
was nominated. It was in August, 1911, that I re 
ceived a letter from him saying that he would like to 
see me. He was residing at the Governor s summer 
home on the Atlantic coast of New Jersey, about 
eighty miles from New York. A friend of mine I 
think it was ex-Senator Towne, had been down to 
see him and had told Wilson that I was in New York. 
Wilson thereupon wrote me that he was very anxious 
to meet me, and that, if I could not come down to his 
home, he would come to New York. So I went down 
to see him. 

I went early and remained all day, and we talked 
on very many subjects. He told me that he was an 
active candidate for the Democratic nomination for 
President of the United States and, thereupon, I be 
gan discussing {public questions with him, for I was 
prejudiced against him because of his attitude in 
the Bryan campaigns. 

Late in the afternoon of my visit, Wilson asked me 
if I would support him for the Democratic nomina 
tion and take charge of his campaign in the West. I 
said that I did not know; that I had come down 
there prejudiced against him; but that he had said 
things during the day that interested me very much, 
and that if he w r ould send me all of his recent 
speeches and every one of his veto messages, so I could 
study his attitude of mind upon public questions, 
in about a month I could tell him whether I could 
support him or not. 

In our conversation I had discovered that Wilson 
knew nothing about the practical working of the Gov 
ernment. He had boasted that he was educated and 
trained as a lawyer and had practiced in his native 


state, Alabama, and this did not leave a good impres 
sion upon my mind, because any man well learned in 
the law has come honestly to believe that the rights of 
property and not human rights are sacred and is, there 
fore, unfitted to serve the interests of the people. But 
Wilson had declared for the public ownership of public 
resources that is, iron and oil, and had suggested the 
single tax as a method of taking the raw material from 
the trusts and combinations, such as the iron, oil, etc. 

I left the Governor s house after dinner, and as I 
reached the door Tumulty he was then the Governor s 
secretary was at the door with an automobile and 
said that the Governor wished him to talk with me and 
that, if I would permit him, he would take me back to 
New York. I therefore got into the automobile, and 
he took me back to Newark. We discussed the same 
questions I discussed with the Governor, and he said 
that the Governor wanted my support, and wished me 
to take charge of his campaign in the West. 

About the time the thirty days had expired, I re 
ceived a letter from Tumulty saying that the Governor 
was anxious to know what my decision was, and I 
promptly replied that I had read all of the Governor s 
recent speeches and his veto messages, and most of his 
works, and after carefully considering the same I was 
of the opinion that he was the worst Tory in the United 
States and that he used camouflage to conceal his set 
tled opinion, and that I would not support him for the 
office of President even if no one else was a candidate. 

I had many reasons for taking this stand. For ex 
ample, in a speech which was carefully prepared and 
delivered before the Society of Virginians in New York 
City in 1904, he had made the following statement: 

"The real opportunity of the South is of another 
sort. It had now a unique opportunity to perform a 
great national service. As the only remaining part of 
the Democratic party that can command a majority of 
its votes in its constituency, let the South demand a 


rehabilitation of the Democratic party on the only lines 
that restore it to dignity and power. 

"Since 1896 the Democratic party had permitted its 
name to be used by men who ought never to have been 
admitted to its councils men who held principles and 
professed purposes which it had always hitherto repu 

"There is no longer any Democratic party either in 
the South or in any northern state which the discred 
ited radicals can use. The great body of one-time Dem 
ocrats that musters strong enough to win elections had 
revolted and will act with no organization that harbors 
the radicals as the radicals did not in fact act with 
the organization they themselves had discredited in 
the recent campaign when the whole country felt that 
the Democratic party was still without definite char 
acter and makeup. 

"The country, as it moves forward in its material 
progress, needs and will tolerate no party of discontent 
or radical experiment, but it does need a party of con 
servative reform, acting in the spirit of the law and 
ancient institutions." 

I wish to call especial attention to the fact that Wil 
son wished to throw the Populists and Silver Republi 
cans and radicals out of the party; and to this para 
graph : 

"The country, as it moves forward to its progress, 
needs and will tolerate no party of discontent or radical 
experiment, but it does need a party of conservative 
reform, acting in the spirit of the law and ancient insti 

This is Woodrow Wilson s whole political creed. 

His position with regard to labor is well expressed in 
his baccalaureate address of June 13, 1909 : 

"You know what the usual standard of the employe 
is in our day. It is to give as little as he may for his 
wages. In some trades and handicrafts no one is suf 
fered to do more than the least skilful of his fellows can 
do within the hours allotted to a day s labor. It is so 


unprofitable that in some trades it will presently not be 
worth while to attempt at all. He had better stop alto 
gether than operate at an invariable loss. The labor of 
America is rapidly becoming unprofitable under its 
present regulation by those who have determined to 
reduce it to a minimum. Our economic supremacy may 
be lost because the country grows more and more full 
of unprofitable servants/* 

And he was reported in the New York "World" as 
saying : 

"We speak too exclusively of the capitalist class. 
There is another as formidable an enemy to equality 
and freedom of opportunity as it is, and that is the 
class formed by the labor organization and leaders of 
the country, the class representing only a small minor 
ity of the laboring men of the country, quite as monop 
olistic in spirit as the capitalist, and quite as apt to 
corrupt and ruin our industries by their monopoly." 

One of the veto messages which he sent me revealed 
the true Wilson point of view. He wrote a long mes 
sage in vetoing the bill to eliminate grade crossings on 
the railroads of New Jersey. The bill by the New Jer 
sey legislature had provided that every railroad in the 
state should eliminate one grade crossing for each 
thirty miles of track each year until they were all 
eliminated. Wilson vetoed this bill on the ground that 
it would be a hardship for the railroads to comply with 
the provisions. In the state of New Jersey at that time 
the railroads ran through the main streets of the prin 
cipal towns right on the surface and large numbers 
of people were killed and injured at grade crossings. 
The bill was a mild and "evolutionary" method of elim 
inating the crossings it permitted the killings to con 
tinue for many years before the last grade of crossing 
was eliminated. Even that mild provision proved to be 
too strong for Wilson who, true to his lawyer training, 
and his attitude of mind where the question of prop 
erty rights was involved, vetoed the bill because it in 
volved a hardship on the shareholders. 


These and many other facts which I had discovered 
in my study of his writings and his speeches led me to 
write, early in the campaign of 1912 : 

"If Mr. Wilson becomes President he will oppose any 
legislation that interferes with big property or in any 
way curtails its profits. He has behind him an ances 
try of slave-holders and he has no sympathy with 
labor. He thinks the Chinese are much better than the 
European immigrants that come crowding in from 

"He is bitterly and sneeringly opposed to every man 
who toils and to every progressive principle; he knows 
little or nothing about the purposes of socialism, does 
not comprehend the great revolution going on in the 
minds of men which must shake to the very foundation 
our social and economic structure. His effort will be 
to check, to turn aside and to neutralize this movement, 
and he will do it all in the interests of the capitalistic 

"He will undertake some reforms. He will rail about 
the bosses; he will talk about purity, but he is abso 
lutely owned by the great moneyed interests of the 
country who paid the expenses of his campaign for the 
nomination and will now furnish the funds for the elec 
tion. No progressive Democrat .should vote for him 
under any circumstances." 

Wilson was nominated by the usual influences that 
control a Democratic convention. He had almost a 
solid South at his back. The South is behind the world 
in ordinary civilization, in social and economic thought. 
This mass of ignorance and barbarism joined with the 
corrupt exploiting bosses of the North and brought 
about Woodrow Wilson s nomination. Murphy, the ex 
ploiter of vice in New York; Sullivan, the exploiter of 
the people of Chicago, through the gas franchise; 
Ryan, the exploiter of the .street railway franchise of 
New York, and Taggart, who for years ran a gambling 
house at French Lick, Indiana, and Bryan, of Ne- 


braska, were all actively at work to bring about Wood- 
row Wilson s nomination. 

Wilson, as President, more than fulfilled the promise 
of Wilson as Governor. His first public surrender to 
the interests came in the passage of the Federal Re 
serve Act. His real abdication accompanied his decla 
ration of war with Germany. 

On the 26th of February, 1917, President Wilson, in 
an address to Congress, said : 

"I am not now proposing or contemplating war, or 
any steps that may lead to it." 

The President made this declaration eleven days 
after the Advisory Council of Big Business, appointed 
by him, had in its secret sessions, as now disclosed by 
an examination of the records of the meetings, dis 
cussed the exclusion of labor from military service, 
and discussed the draft law months before it had been 
intimated to Congress or the country that we were to 
raise an army by draft to fight a foreign war. 

William J. Graham, of the Select Committee of the 
House of Representatives at Washington on Expendi 
tures in the War Department, examined the minutes of 
the meetings of the Council of Defense. He made 
copious extracts from these minutes. Based upon that 
investigation, Chairman Graham reported to the full 
committee as follows : 

"An examination of these minutes discloses the fact 
that a commission of seven men chosen by the Presi 
dent seems to have devised the entire system of pur 
chasing war supplies, planned a press censorship, de 
signed a system of food control, and selected Herbert 
Hoover as its director, determined on a daylight saving 
scheme and, in a word, designed practically every war 
measure which Congress subsequently enacted and 
did all this, behind closed doors, w r eeks and even 
months before the Congress of the United States de 
clared war against Germany." 

For months before the United States declared war, 
Wilson was planning war with a secret committee of 


New York representatives of Big Business that he, 
Wilson, had appointed for that purpose. 

W. P. G. Harding, president of the Federal Reserve 
Board, gives the reason why the United States went to 
war in a statement published on March 22, 1917: 

"As banker and creditor, the United States would 
have a place at the peace conference table, and be in a 
much better position to resist any proposed repudiation 
of debts, for it might as well be remembered that we 
will be forced to take up the cudgels for any of our 
citizens owning bonds that might be repudiated." 

Harding, as a representative of the New York bank 
ers, knew what the secret committee was doing with 
the President at its head. He could, with perfect con 
fidence say, weeks before the United States went into 
the war, "It might as well be remembered that we will 
be forced to take up the cudgels for any of our citizens 
owning bonds that might be repudiated." 

Wilson went to Paris as the representative of the 
New York banks. That he was their representative 
and consulted with them all through the conference is 
proven by the fact that Thomas W. Lamont( of J. P. 
Morgan & Co.) was chief financial adviser in Paris, and 
that the New York banks had a copy of the treaty 
weeks before the United States Senate received its 

It is not an inspiring record this story of ten presi 
dents all of them actively or passively serving the 
interests that have been plundering the American peo 
ple. Very few Americans now living have known ten 
presidents. Very few have had my opportunity for 
observation. If they had, I think they would be com 
pelled to agree with me that the control of the Ameri 
can plutocracy is exercised as directly and as effectively 
over and through the Presidents of the United States 
as over any other department of American Govern 



In these descriptions of the relation between busi 
ness and Government in the United States, I have not 
tried to draw any sharp distinctions between the Re 
publican and the Democratic parties. Indeed, such an 
effort would be quite futile, since no real distinction 
between them exists. Historically, the two parties rep 
resent varying points of view as to the best method of 
robbing the workers. The Democrats favored slavery 
as a method. The Republicans preferred the wage sys 
tem. But those differences were ironed out during the 
Civil War. During more than half a century both par 
ties have accepted the system of wage labor as the 
most practical and remunerative system of exploita 
tion. Today Republicans and Democrats are alike the 
spokesmen of big business. This assertion I can make 
without the .slightest fear of contradiction, as I have 
known the leaders of both parties for fifty years and 
have worked in the inner circles of both party ma 

I was elected to the United States Senate as a Repub 
lican when the state of South Dakota was admitted to 
the Union. I was re-elected in 1894, also as a Repub 
lican. I listened to the debates in 1890 on the Anti- 
Trust Law which was presented by Senator Sherman, of 
Ohio. The trusts were at that time beginning to show 
great strength and both parties had declared against 
them in their platforms. The Sherman law was a Re 
publican measure, but I observed to my great surprise 
that the leaders of the Republican party were very 
careful not to include anything in the bill that would 
interfere with big business. Indeed, the anti-trust 
legislation was so framed as to encourage rather than 
discourage combinations in restraint of trade; I also 
observed that those amendments which were offered 
to the Sherman Anti-Trust Law in order to make it 
effective by preventing combinations in restraint of 
trade, were promptly defeated by a solid Republican 


vote. This opened my eyes, and I began to wonder if 
I was really a Republican. Out on the prairies of Da 
kota there was a strong protest against the exploita 
tion of the people by eastern bankers and railroad oper 
ators, and I had never for one moment supposed that 
the Republican party which always claimed to be the 
opponent of slavery and the champion of freedom was 
presenting a united front to any measures looking to 
a diminution of this exploitation. 

In 1896 I was elected as a delegate to the Republican 
National Convention which assembled at St. Louis for 
the purpose of adopting a platform and of nominating 
a presidential candidate. After the St. Louis platform 
had been adopted, twenty-two of the delegates, I among 
the number, left the convention and the Republican 
party. Our reasons for leaving were, first, that the 
party, in its platform, declared for a very high pro 
tective tariff and made no pronouncement against 
trusts and combinations in restraint of trade, but left 
out the plank on that subject which it had included in 
every National convention for at least eight years pre 
viously. The tariff wall for which the platform pro 
vided was so high as to make the trusts absolutely se 
cure against foreign competition, which was the only 
competition they had to fear. The convention also 
declared for the gold standard and at every opportu 
nity announced that it was in favor of the great indus 
trial combinations, whose attorneys not only dominated 
the convention, but made up two-thirds of both Houses 
of Congress. In other words, the grand old party that 
had come into existence as a protest against human 
slavery had, after forty years, decided to abandon its 
great record as the champion of black slaves and be 
come the champion of the trusts and industrial and 
transportation combinations which were enslaving 
men. Seeing this change as clearly as I did, there was 
only one course for me to pursue I left the party. 
Still I was a Republican at heart. I never voted but 
for one Democrat. 


After the St. Louis Convention I attended the Demo 
cratic Convention at Chicago, and was on the platform 
when Bryan made the great speech which resulted in 
his nomination. He was endorsed by the so-called Sil 
ver Republican Convention, which was composed of 
those who bolted the St. Louis Convention of the Re 
publican party and their adherents. In the campaign 
of 1896 I supported Bryan and made a great many 
speeches advocating his election. Partly as a result 
of my activity he carried the State of South Dakota. 
He was beaten throughout the nation by the industrial 
combinations which had backed the nomination of 
McKinley and had adopted the St. Louis platform. 
These interests put up many millions to purchase and 
corrupt the voters of the country and to defeat Bryan, 
so that they could go along with their work of concen 
trating in the hands of a few the result of the toil of 
the American people. 

Again in 1900 I supported Bryan, who was running 
on a platform which declared against trusts and com 
binations in restraint of trade, against the acquisition 
of colonies to be exploited in the interests of trade; 
against an enormous army and navy in fact, which 
declared against everything that the Republican party 
in the campaign of 1900 stood for. 

After the campaign of 1896 a debate took place in 
the Senate with regard to free homes on the public 
domain. In this debate I was contending that the Re 
publican party boasted during the campaign of 1896 
that it was the author of the Homestead Law ; and that 
in the convention at St. Louis the party had declared in 
favor of the Homestead Law. As an advocate of the 
restoration of the Homestead Law, I told the Republi 
cans that they had put the free homestead plank in 
their platform at St. Louis and now they were refusing 
to live up to it. By quoting the plank in the Republican 
platform and comparing it with the bill that the Repub 
licans were trying to enact, I .showed conclusively that 
they had abandoned it. During this debate, the whole 


question of party relations and affiliations came to the 
surface, and above all, the spokesmen of business, who 
were leading the fight against the bill in the Senate, 
said plainly and emphatically that they were not there 
to do the will of the people or to represent them, but 
that they were rather serving their real masters who 
paid the party bills. 

I quote the Congressional Record : 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "That is the measure which the 
St. Louis Convention specifically and in terms endorsed 
and said they were in favor of. The Senator from Con 
necticut (Mr. Platt) says to me they did not do any 
such thing. Let us see whether or not they did. This 
bill was reported to the Senate on the 16th of May, 
1896, and on the 18th of June, 1896, the St. Louis plat 
form was adopted. Now, let us see what the platform 

" We believe in an immediate return to the 
free homestead policy of the Republican party 
and urge the passage by Congress of a satis 
factory free-homestead measure, such as has 
already passed the House and is now pending 
in the Senate/ 

Mr. PLATT, of Connecticut: "Did they endorse the 
bill which passed the House? * 

Mr. PETTIGREW: " And is now pending in the 
Senate/ What bill was pending in the Senate? The 
bill reported by the Committee on Indian Affairs, the 
bill I have read here in terms and words." 

Mr. PLATT: "What did they endorse? Did they 
endorse the bill which passed the House or the bill that 
was pending in the Senate?" 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "Both; the bill such as has al 
ready passed the House and is now pending in the Sen 
ate. " 

Mr. PLATT: "Does the Senator think they knew 
what was pending in the Senate ?" 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "I think they did." 


Mr. PLATT: "Or that this bill was any different 
from the bill pending in the Senate?" 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "They knew all about it. There 
is no question about it. Here is the difference between 
the two bills. The House bill provided for free home 
steaders in Oklahoma, every bit of which had been 
bought from Indians, and the Senate bill provided that 
the same provisions should extend to the other states 
of the West. Now, the Republicans went into the cam 
paign in South Dakota and on every stump they told 
these people that they should have free homes if the 
Republican party won and that they could not get them 
if they did not, and you pointed to the record of the 
Republican party as being the party in favor of free 
homesteads, and you showed them that the Democratic 
party had voted against it way back in 1860. You 
gained thousands of votes by that pretense and by that 
plank in your platform, and now you go back on it. 

"It is not the only plank you have gone back on. You 
have gone back on your whole record as a party. You 
have left the side of the people of this country. You 
have abandoned the principles that made your party 
great and respectable and have become the champions 
of everything that is corrupt and bad in American 

"What is more, we passed this bill as a separate 
measure at the last session of Congress and it went to 
the House of Representatives exactly in words and 
terms as in this bill, being the same measure. Has the 
House done a thing with it ? It is referred to the Calen 
dar the graveyard of the House. They will not even 
amend it and pass the provision in regard to Oklahoma ; 
and one of the prominent members of the House stood 
up the other day and stated that it was made for the 
purpose of getting votes. One of the most prominent 
members of the House said that the plank was put in 
the platform, but the election was over. I wish I had 
his speech here. I should like to put it in the RECORD 
along with my statement in regard to it. 


Mr. GALLINGER : "If my friend, the Senator from 
South Dakota, will permit me, we ought to be some 
what exact in these historical matters. Do I under 
stand that that plank was in the platform of the Re 
publican party in 1896 ?" 


Mr. GALLINGER : "And the campaign was waged in 
South Dakota in behalf of that plank by the Republican 
party f 


Mr. GALLINGER : "And the Senator who is speak 
ing fought the Republican party in that campaign." 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "I did." 

Mr. GALLINGER: "The Republican party had not 
gone back on that plank at that time. How does it 
happen that the Senator was with the opposition in that 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "Oh, Mr. President, that is a long 
story, but I am willing to answer it. I left the Repub 
lican party at the St. Louis Convention, and I am proud 
of it. There has never been a day from that time to 
this that I have not been glad of it. I stated in that 
campaign that if McKinley was elected I never could 
return to the party, because the forces which would 
control his administration would make it impossible, 
but there was a chance to return to the party if he was 
defeated. Repeatedly on the stump I made that state 
ment. I left the St. Louis Convention, first because 
it declared for the gold standard, which will ruin every 
producer in this country and every other country that 
adopts and adheres to it. I left the Republican party 
because the trusts had captured your party and had 
complete control of your convention, and you left out 
the plank against trusts, which you had heretofore 
adopted, because the trusts, owning you and your 
party and in possession of your convention, did not 
want to abuse each other. Reason enough, reason suf 
ficient to justify my course before the people I repre- 


sent, and enough, in my opinion, to consign the repub 
lican party to eternal oblivion. 

"What has been your course since? It is knov/n 
throughout this country that vast sums of money are 
collected and that you are in alliance with the ac 
cumulated and concentrated wealth of this country, 
and that you rely upon them not only to carry your 
campaigns and furnish money to corrupt the elec 
tions, but to elect your senators; and after you have 
done it, after you have elected by corrupt means a 
man to this body, the great convention of the state 
where it occurs passes resolutions congratulating 
themselves upon the infamy and declaring that they 
are glad of it." 

Mr. GALLINGER : "Will the Senator permit me 
again? He seems to be somewhat specific now r , and 
he says that a man has been corruptly elected to 
this body and that the party has not only not con 
demned it, but applauded. I wish to ask the Senator 
if there is any proof that any man occupying a seat 
on this floor as a republican was corruptly elected?" 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "Oh, yes; and the proof is 
with the committee on elections. The proof is be 
fore the people of the United States, and they all 
know it, and it is conclusive and the Senator referred 
to is Mark Hanna, of Ohio." 

Mr. GALLINGER: "That might be said of an 
accusation against somebody whose case was before 
a grand jury and where the grand jury had not re 
ported. I do not understand that the committee on 
elections has made a report to this body giving it as 
their deliberate conviction, after proper inquiry and 
investigation, that any accusation against a republi 
can occupying a seat here has been proved ; and until 
that is done I think the Senator ought to be a little 
more careful about his statements on that point, with 
all due deference to his rights as a Senator." 

Mr. PETTIGREW: "I am willing that the state- 


ment I have made shall go to the country. The proof 
was sufficient to satisfy the Senate of Ohio, and they 
sent the case here weeks ago. An innocent man 
would demand that our committee act before we 
adjourn. Why does the case sleep in the Senate 
Committee ?" 

That was my statement to the Senate twenty-five 
years ago, and during those years, every contact that 
I have had with the Republican party organization 
has strengthened my conviction that I understated 
the case at that time. It did not need the revelations 
of the 1920 campaign to convince the American peo 
ple of these facts. Those revelations simply em 
phasized knowledge that was already common. 

But do not let it be supposed for an instant that 
the Democratic party has been less eager to play 
handy-man to big business. It has been the oppor 
tunity and not the \vill that was lacking. And even 
at that, it is a matter of common knowledge that the 
Wilson Campaign millions in 1912 and again in 1916 
were greater than the funds at the disposal of the 
Republicans, and the bulk of them did not come from 
either workingmen or farmers. On the contrary, the 
Democrats, like the republicans got their funds from 
the only source that yields them in large amounts 
the exploiters of the American people. 

Bryan was the last of the Democratic leaders to 
make a stand against the vested interests and while 
his intentions were of the best, his knowledge of 
economics was woefully limited. Furthermore, he 
was far from being the master of Democratic party 

The Democratic Convention at Denver (1908), 
nominated Bryan for the third time. I was a dele 
gate from South Dakota to that convention and was 
chairman of the sub-committee on the tariff and 
chairman of the Full Committee on Insular Affairs. 
In connection with this second committee, I brought 


in a plan declaring in favor of the independence of 
the people of the Philippines and against the policy 
of acquiring colonies peopled by another race for 
the purposes of commercial exploitation. I brought 
into the full committee, composed of over fifty mem 
bers, a tariff plank which resulted in a very active 
debate. The wheel horses of democracy were all 
for a high protective tariff and I had introduced a 
plank which was not sufficiently protective to satisfy 
their purposes. That debate satisfied me that the 
difference between the two old political parties was 
not one of principle. As a result of it, I saw quite 
clearly that they both were owned by the exploiting 
interests and that the contest between the two was 
over which one should hold the offices, dispense the 
patronage, and collect untold millions for campaign 
purposes. From that time until now the two have 
been as like as two peas in a pod. There has never 
been more than a difference in the wording of their 
respective platforms, and since 1918, as if to prove 
that they were one and the same, they have fused 
in those district (notably in Wisconsin and in New 
York) where the Socialist candidates would have 
been elected in a three cornered fight. 

Before the Denver Convention, I was invited by 
Mr. Bryan to his home near Lincoln, Nebraska, where 
I spent a week with him. He expected to be nom 
inated, and we put in our time going over a platform 
for the Denver Convention and discussing and plan 
ning the campaign. I had great admiration for 
Bryan because of his sterling qualities as a man, and 
because of his ability to state what he had to say in 
a forceful and eloquent manner, and because I be 
lieved that he had the moral courage to stand by his 

The week that I spent with him gave me an op 
portunity to know the man intimately. I had access 
to his library and conversed with him every day. 


We walked and drove together and in the course of 
our conversation we covered many topics. I found 
that he was fairly well versed in the law ; that he had 
studied Blackstone and Kent and the English prece 
dents, but that he was utterly ignorant of almost 
everything else except the bible and the evils of in 
temperance; that his library contained almost no 
books whatever of value to a man fitting himself to 
be President of the United States, or even member of 
a state legislature. I also found that, while his per 
sonality was charming, whatever ability nature may 
have endowed him with had been badly dwarfed 
and crippled by a narrow education, and that he was 
not big enough to overcome his training by con 
tinuing his investigations of men and affairs after he 
entered public life. 

Bryan asked me to return by way of Lincoln after 
the Denver Convention and go into greater detail 
with regard to the campaign. He knew that I was 
well acquainted w r ith Roger Sullivan, of Chicago, 
who had become the democratic boss of Illinois and 
who was reputed to be very rich. He was also 
aware of the fact that Sullivan for some years had 
been a resident of South Dakota when a very young 
man and that I had had his brother, who was a re 
publican, made surveyor-general of the State of 
South Dakota. He knew, furthermore, that I was 
well acquainted w r ith Murphy, of New ^ork, the boss 
of Tammany Hall, as well as with Arthur Brisbane, 
the editor of the Hearst newspapers. Bryan wished 
me to see Sullivan, Murphy and Brisbane and author 
ized me to say to Sullivan and Murphy that he de 
sired their support in the campaign and that they 
should receive due and proper consideration if he 
were elected President of the United States; that 
they would be consulted about affairs in their re 
spective localities and that their political importance 
would be recognized. I had no trouble with Sulli- 


van and Murphy and easily secured their pledges to 
stand by the ticket. I then talked with Arthur Bris 
bane, hoping to receive the support of the Hearst 
newspapers of which he was the editor. 

Brisbane, in my opinion, has more general knowl 
edge of the past and present and of books than any 
other man in America, and he seems to have the ma 
terial ready for use. I have always had a high re 
gard for his ability and experience. When I ap 
proached him and urged his support of Bryan, he 
turned to me and said, "Bryan doesn t know enough 
to be President; he is a provincial fellow, prejudiced 
by his training. He has none of the knowledge that 
a man must possess in order to be fit for the position 
of President of the United States." 

I then asked Brisbane how much money he had 
made the preceding year through his writings, lie 
replied that it was about $70,000. Then I said, 
"That is nothing. Bryan made $100,000 from the 
sale of his books and through his lectures, and yet 
you say Bryan doesn t know enough to be President." 

I could make no impression upon Brisbane, how 
ever, for he still adhered to his position that Bryan 
was impossible. So far as I know, he is still of that 

There are other incidents many of them that 
have transpired during the past few years, that I 
could cite if more proof were necessary to establish 
my point. But it seems to me that on this score, I 
have said enough. The able men as a rule, do not 
go into politics. They stay in business, and with 
the -wealth that they derive through their special 
privileges and monopolies they support one or both 
of the old parties turning their contributions into 
the channel that will yield the largest net returns. 



The Union and Central Pacific Railroads, from 
Omaha to San Francisco, had been constructed by a 
company organized by Ames, of Boston, and his as 
sociates. They had succeeded in getting Congress 
to give a land grant consisting of the odd numbered 
sections of land for a strip ten miles wide on each 
side of the main track from Omaha to San Francisco. 
Besides that the Government had appropriated 
money enough to more than build and equip the en 
tire road. In return for this money the Government 
was given a second mortgage on the property. 

The road never paid any interest to the Govern 
ment, but allowed it to accumulate. They estab 
lished freight rates that were confiscatory, as far as 
the public was concerned. For example, on goods 
shipped from Omaha to Nevada they charged the 
rate from Omaha to San Francisco and then added 
the local rate back, from San Francisco to the point 
in Nevada. The same was true in Utah, except that 
in Utah the Mormon Church furnished one of the 
directors of the road and received favorable rates, 
so that their entire influence was with the railroad 
and its system of exploitation. 

In 1896, the Government s second mortgage w r as 
about to mature, and the people controlling the Cen 
tral and Union Pacific railroads put them in the 
hands of a receiver and then appointed a re-organi 
zation committee. In the meantime a through line 
had been created by a combination between the 
Union and Central Pacific from San Francisco to 
Omaha, the Northwestern Railroad from Omaha to 
Chicago, and the New York Central Railroad from 
Chicago to New York. The reorganization com 
mittee was appointed for the purpose of swindling 
the Government out of its entire claim by foreclosing 
the first mortgage and by separating the Union Paci 
fic from all its branch lines. This reorganization 


committee included Marvin Hughitt, the President of 
the Northwestern Railroad and Chauncey Depew, 
President of the New York Central Railroad. It was, 
I think, in connection with my efforts to head off this 
robbery that Chauncey Depew s name first appears 
in the Congressional Record. 

So complete was my exposure of the rascality that 
the promoters were unable to carry through their 
scheme. My stand naturally aroused the hostility of 
the New York Central and the Northwestern Rail 
road interests. 

Nor were these my only offenses against the sacred 
railroad privileges. I have already related the es 
sential facts concerning my fight on the railway mail 
pay, during which I showed that the Government 
paid the railroads for carrying the mail ten times as 
much per pound as the express companies paid the 
railroads for carrying express on the same train, in 
the same car, under almost exactly identical condi 
tions, and that the New York Central Railroad in 
particular received from the Government, for carry 
ing the mail between New York and Buffalo, a sum 
sufficient to pay the interest at six per cent upon the 
total cost of building and equiping a double-tracked 
railroad from New York to Buffalo. Finally I moved 
to reduce the railroad mail pay by 20 per cent, and 
introduced a bill providing for government owner 
ship of the railroads and the fixing of passenger rates 
at one cent a mile, which I proved would be possible 
if all passes and other forms of free transportation 
were eliminated. 

It was to guard against such dangerous tendencies 
that the New York Central Railroad sent Chauncey 
M. Depew to the Senate in 1898. Depew was not 
sent to represent the State of New York, or the people 
of the United States, but to protect and foster the 
interests of the railroads in general and of the New 
York Central in particular. 


Depew had been in the Senate a little less than 
sixty days when he found occasion to attack me. I 
reproduce his entire speech of February 7th, 1900: 

Mr. DEPEW : "Mr. President, on the 31st of Jan 
uary, the Senator from South Dakota (Mr. Petti- 
grew), in the course of his speech on the Philippine 
question, made the following remarks in reference to 
the president of the Philippine Commission, Presi 
dent Schurman, of Cornell University. He said : 

" Mr. Schurman, in his Chicago inter 
view (and this is the only authority I will 
read which is not vouched for by official 
documents) August 20th, 1899, said: 

" * "General Aguinaldo is believed on the 
island to be honest, and I think that he is 
acting honestly in money matters, but whe 
ther from moral or political reasons I would 
not say." (Oriental American, Page 99.) 

" The fact of the matter is that he tried 
to bribe the insurgents, as near as we can 
ascertain, and failed ; they would not take 
gold for peace/ 

"The speech of the Senator from South Dakota 
was brought to the attention of the president of Cor 
nell, and I have from him the following letter, which 
I will read. I do it for the purpose of having the 
Record corrected by his statement: 

" Cornell University, Office 

of the President, 
Ithaca, N. Y., February 3, 1910. 

" Dear Senator Depew: I see, from page 
1362 of the Congressional Record, that Sen 
ator Pettigrew, speaking of myself, says : 

" The fact of the matter is that he tried 
to bribe the insurgents, as near as we can 
ascertain, and failed; but they would not 
take gold for peace." 


" Had this preposterous statement been 
made anywhere else I should not have paid 
any attention to it; but as it has been made 
in the Senate of the United States, I desire 
to say to you that it is absolutely without 

" Very truly yours, 

" Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, 
United States Senate, 
Washington, D. C. 

"Now, Mr. President, at the time this speech was 
being made, President Schurman was in this city 
upon business connected with his report and the 
report of his commission on the Philippine matter. 
He was at that very hour in conference with the 
President at the White House, and therefore com 
petent to be summoned. 

"It seems to me that the alleged facts which have 
been brought forward by my friend, the Senator from 
South Dakota, in order to substantiate his conten 
tion that the President of the United States is a tyrant 
and that Aguinaldo is a patriot fail in the important 
consideration that his alleged facts never turn out 
to be true. 

"He has summoned the two witnesses who were 
more competent than any others to testify on the 
question of the original understanding had with 
Aguinaldo and of the position of the Philippine peo 
ple, one Admiral Dewey and the other President 
Schurman, the president of the Philippine Commis 

"Any evidence, any statement, in regard to this 
matter made by Admiral Dewey would be received 
at once by the people of the United States without 
further question and the same can be said of any 


statement made by the president of Cornell Univer 

"But instead of presenting his evidence by calling 
the witnesses themselves, he calls others for the pur 
pose of proving what they have said. 

"With Admiral Dewey here in the city, his house 
well known, himself the most accessible of men, he 
reads, as proving what Admiral Dewey has said and 
what his position is, an alleged proclamation of 
Aguinaldo, translated by an unknown translator and 
published without any certificate of its authenticity 
in a New England newspaper; and instead of ascer 
taining, when President Schurman is in the city, 
what his views really are and what he really did say 
and what he really did do, he reads a report of an 
anonymous and unknown reporter in a Chicago news 
paper. Admiral Dewey at once branded the state 
ment affecting him as absolutely and unqualifiedly 
false, and now President Schurman repudiates the 
testimony attributed to him. 

"I submit, Mr. President, that having, amid the 
mass of newspaper reports, of anonymous remarks, 
of testimony of no consideration and no value, sub 
poenaed the two greatest and most prominent wit 
nesses in the country, he has done it in a way which 
discredits all the alleged facts which are presented 
on his side or the contention which Senator Petti- 
grew and his friends endeavor to make in behalf of 
Aguinaldo and in discredit of the President and of 
the Philippine policy of the administration. 

"These facts, or alleged facts, cited by the Sen 
ator from South Dakota, are like the army of Aguin 
aldo. Whenever the United States troops appear, 
there is no army of Aguinaldo. And whenever the 
truth is let in, as Admiral Dewey and President 
Schurman let it in, these alleged facts vanish in thin 
air. The basis of their whole contention has no bet 
ter foundation than the seat of the Aguinaldo gov- 


ernment, which, as far as I can ascertain, is nowhere 
except in the hat of Aguinaldo." 

To this I replied at once and showed by the Record 
that Mr. Schurman, president of Cornell University, 
who was the head of the commission that went to the 
Philippines, sent by the Government to try and pacify 
the islands, had offered Aguinaldo a Government posi 
tion with a salary of $5,000 per year if he would cease 
hostilities. I showed also that the commission had 
offered to pay a large bounty to any of the Filipinos 
who would come in and surrender their guns. Fur 
thermore, I showed that Aguinaldo had never talked 
anything else but absolute independence and that he 
had talked with Dewey time and again on the point. 
Finally I charged the following facts as proved by the 
official records in regard to our conduct of affairs in 
the Philippine Islands: 

I charged the suppression of information, the censor 
ship of the press and tampering with the mails; 

I charged that the press was censored, not because 
there was fear that the enemy would secure important 
information, but to keep the facts from the American 
people, and I proved it ; 

I charged that the President began the war on the 
Filipinos, and I proved it by Otis report ; 

I charged that Aguinaldo, after hostilities had been 
inaugurated, asked for a truce, with the purpose of 
endeavoring to settle differences without further blood 
shed, and that the administration answered: "War, 
having commenced, must go on to the grim end ;" 

I charged that Otis changed the President s procla 
mation to the Filipinos with the purpose of deceiving 
those people and concealing our real intention of re 
maining in the islands; 

I charged that the Filipinos were our allies ; that we 
armed them, fought with them, recognized their flag 
and surrendered Spanish prisoners to them; that de 
spite these facts Dewey finally captured Aguinaldo s 
.ships of war in September or October, 1898; that Otis, 


on September 8, 1898, threatened to attack the Fili 
pinos, and that we finally did begin the fighting; 

I charged that we made a covenant with the Sultan 
of Sulu, by which the President agreed to sustain slav 
ery and polygamy and pay the Sultan over $700 a 
month for running Old Glory up over his slave mart 
every morning and taking it down every night ; 

Finally, I pointed out that we could not have a repub 
lic and an empire under the same flag that one or the 
other must go down; that the attempt to govern any 
people without their consent was a violation of our 
theory of Government and of the Declaration of Inde 
pendence; that all governments derived their just 
powers from the consent of the governed; that .satis 
fying greed of empire by conquest had caused the 
downfall of every republic and every empire in the 

To all of this the junior Senator from New York an 
nounced, with his incomparable after-dinner, spirited 
and effervescent logic, that these allegations were all 
answered and disposed of, because Dewey said that 
Aguinaldo s statement in relation to him was a tissue 
of falsehoods and Schurman declared that he did not 
offer Aguinaldo gold for peace. 

That was our first contest. After that, from time to 
time, as long as 1 remained in the Senate, Depew went 
out of his way to attack me. He took the death of 
Mark Hanna (1904) as a favorable occasion. In the 
course of a funeral oration, delivered over the remains 
of Hanna, who had been the factotum of the Repub 
lican party and the principal partner of Aldrich as the 
representative of the corrupt financial interests in the 
Senate, Depew made the following statement: 

"Quite as suddenly as he grew to be su 
preme in political management Senator Hanna 
became an orator. He had been accustomed 
in the boards of directors of many corpora 
tions, where the conferences were more in the 


nature of consultations than arguments, to 
influence his associates by the lucidity with 
which from a full mind he could explain situ 
ations and suggest policies or remedies. He 
did not dare, however, except on rare occa 
sions, to trust himself upon his feet. We, his 
associates, can never forget the day when a 
mighty passion loosed his tongue and intro 
duced into the debate of this body an original 
and powerful speaker. It was June, 1900. 
The presidential campaign for the second 
nomination and canvass of President McKin- 
ley was about to open. Senator Pettigrew, 
an active and persistent laborer in the ranks 
of the opposition, was seeking material in 
every direction which would benefit his side. 
Without notice he suddenly assailed Senator 
Hanna in his tenderest point. He attacked 
his honesty, truthfulness and general char 
acter. He accused him of bribery, perjury, 
and false dealing. Hanna s reply was not a 
speech but an explosion. It was a gigantic 
effort, in his almost uncontrollable rage, to 
keep expression within the limits of senatorial 
propriety. He .shouted in passionate protest : 

" Mr. President, the gentleman will find 
that he is mistaken in the people of the United 
States when he attempts, through mud-sling 
ing and accusations, to influence their deci 
sion when they are called upon at the polls 
next November to decide upon the principles 
that are at issue and not the men. When it 
comes to personality, I will stand up against 
him and compare my character to his. I will 
let him tell what he knows; then I will tell 
what I know about him/ 

"The new-born orator carried his threat 
into execution by a dramatic and picturesque 
speaking tour through South Dakota, in 


which, without mentioning Mr. Pettigrew or 
referring to him in any way, he took away his 
constituents by convincing them that the doc 
trines of their Senator were inimical to their 
interests and prosperity. The titanic power 
the Dakota Senator had evoked was his polit 
ical ruin." 

I have given my version of this story in some detail 
in another chapter (Chapter 21, "A Lost Election") ; I 
need merely say at this point that Mark Hanna s "Ex 
plosion" was produced by my calling the attention of 
the Senate to a report submitted by the Ohio legisla 
ture to the Senate Committee on Elections in which 
careful and detailed data was produced showing that 
Mark Hanna had been directly implicated in buying 
his way into the United States Senate. 

I read from the majority report of the Committee of 
the Ohio State Senate, which showed that Mark Hanna 
purchased the vote of a member of the Ohio legislature 
for the ,sum of $20,000; $10,000 to be paid down and 
$10,000 after he had voted. The testimony disclosed 
that Mark Hanna had personal knowledge of this pur 
chase and was a party to it and sent the money from 
Columbus, where the legislature was in session, to 
Cincinnati to be paid to the purchased member of the 
Ohio legislature. The testimony also showed that Mark 
Hanna was negotiating for the purchase of two or three 
other members of the legislature and through this sys 
tem of pribery and corruption he succeeded in getting 
his seat in the Senate of the United States. 

I then read the minority report of the Committee 
on Elections in the Senate which went into the sub 
ject fully and disclosed the facts. The Republican 
members of the Committee on Elections in the Sen 
ate and they were in the majority simply alluded 
to the testimony laid before them by the Ohio State 
Senate and refused to investigate, and gave as a 
reason that the Ohio State Senate had not sent a man 


down there to prosecute the case. In other words, 
Mark Hanna was such a factotum in the Republican 
party in all its councils that it did not disturb the 
Republicans at all, as so many of them were used 
to using money to secure their election. Besides, 
Mark Hanna at that time was Chairman of the Re 
publican National Committee. 
Depew says: 

"Mark Hanna s reply was not a speech, 
but an explosion. It was a gigantic effort, 
in his almost uncontrollable rage, to keep 
expression within the limits of Senatorial 
propriety. He shouted in passionate pro 

" Mr. President, the gentleman will find 
that he is mistaken in the people of the 
United States when he attempts, through 
mud-slinging and accusations, to influence 
their decision when they are called upon at 
the polls next November to decide upon the 
principles that are at issue and not the men. 
When it comes to personality, I will stand 
up against him and compare my character 
to his. I will let him tell what he knows; 
then I will tell what I know about him/ 

And this is Chauncey Depew s idea of oratory. 
In other words, the Bowery response, "You re 
another!" Hanna admitted that he was all that I 
said he was, but that he could show I was a little 
worse, which convinced me that Chauncey Depew 
was a phrase-maker of but little intellect, to balance 
considerable avoirdupois. 

For Depew s part in this whole transaction his 
name ought to go down in history and he should put 
a halo on his own statue which he has already erected 
and presented to his native town in New York. I 
should suppose it would be appropriate to have a 


dove come down from Heaven and perch upon his 
shoulder and say: "I am from the boodle crowd in 
New York who run the Government of the United 
States, and this is my beloved son in whom I am 
well pleased." 



It is not easy to characterize a complex political situ 
ation in a brief and comprehensive manner. If such a 
thing can be done at all, I believe that it can be done 
most successfully through the personality of two men 
who typify the two extremes of American political life. 
One of these men that I shall select for the purpose is 
William Jennings Bryan. The other is Joe Cannon of 
Illinois. The first is a Democrat the second a Repub 

I have known both of these men for many years. 
Neither is a statesman in any sense of the word. Both 
are lawyers and suffer from the disqualifications that 
go with the study and practice of the law. Bryan has 
integrity, of a ,sort; Cannon has a keen mind. Both 
understand the political game, and both play it ac 
cording to their lights. Bryan plays prohibition poli 
tics; Cannon plays plutocratic politics. Neither has 
any real grasp of the meaning of the phrase the pub 
lic welfare." 

In the previous chapter, I have referred to the sup 
port which I gave Mr. Bryan in his fight against the 
eastern bankers and trust magnates. The fight ended 
in failure because Mr. Bryan was very weak while the 
trusts were very strong. Since that fight, Bryan has 
showed himself for what he is an American politician, 
vacillating, uncertain, overlooking the fundamental 
things, ignorant of the forces that are shaping Ameri 
can public life, incapable of thinking in terms of reality, 
but making phrases as a substitute for thought. 

Mr. Bryan is weak, not corrupt. That is why I wish 
to describe some of his public activities during the past 
few years. He is a type of the "good man" that so 
often fools the American people. By way of illustra 
tion, let me refer to two incidents which show Mr. 
Bryan s attitude toward public questions and his 
method of judging matters of personal conduct. 

When the Spanish Treaty was pending in the Senate 


of the United States and we believed that we had it 
defeated beyond a question, Bryan came to Washington 
from his home in Nebraska and urged a ratification of 
the treaty. He saw several Senators, before he came 
to me, and urged them to vote for ratification. Bryan 
knew the grounds upon which I was opposing the rati 
fication of the treaty and yet he had the temerity to 
come and ask me to vote for ratification of the treaty. 
He argued that the treaty would entirely end our 
troubles with Spain and that, once it was ratified, the 
nation would have an opportunity to perform a great 
moral duty the granting of freedom, under a wise and 
generous protectorate, to the people of the Philippines. 
His chief argument was that should the Republicans 
not give the people of the Philippines their indepen 
dence, but, instead, should undertake to conquer the 
islands and annex them to the United States, such a 
course would and ought to drive the Republican party 
from power. The Filipinos had been our allies in 
the war with Spain, and he held that our repudiation 
of an alliance by such an act of bad faith as that im 
plied in the conquest of the islands would wreck any 
administration that attempted it. 

Bryan thus made the ratification of the Spanish 
Treaty an act of political expediency, and did not seem 
to realize that every person who voted to ratify the 
treaty at the same time endorsed the doctrine of pur 
chasing a country and its people without their consent 
the very doctrine on which he proposed to pillory the 
Republican administration before the country. Neither 
did he understand that a Senator holding my views and 
voting for ratification would be guilty of the most out 
rageous moral turpitude and depravity. 

I called Mr. Bryan s attention to the fact that, if we 
voted for the treaty, it would be fair for the adminis 
tration to assume that the Senate .sympathized with 
the spirit of the document which, as I pointed out, be 
sides violating every principle of free government, con 
travened the Constitution which I had sworn to sup- 


port. I told him that I would sooner cut off my right 
arm than cast my vote for the treaty. I was so incensed 
by his effort to induce me, on the score of expediency, 
to change front on a matter of principle and stultify 
myself, that I finally told him emphatically that he had 
no business in Washington on such an errand ; that his 
stand reflected on his character and reputation as a 
man, and indicated a lack of knowledge of human af 
fairs which must make his friends feel that he was not 
a suitable person to be President of the United States. 

Despite the vigor of my statement, I doubt if Bryan 
understood what I was driving at. He was seeking 
political capital and he was willing to take it where he 
found it, without paying too much attention to nice 
questions of principle. 

The treaty was ratified by one more vote than was 
necessary. I do not believe Mr. Bryan s visit changed 
the result, although several Democrats, who made 
speeches against it, voted for the treaty. The only 
effect of his visit was to give an excuse for Democrats, 
for a cash consideration, to sell out to Aldrich and vote 
for the treaty. 

Andrew Carnegie, in his autobiography, on page 364, 
refers to this subject as follows: 

"Mr. Bryan had it in his power at one time 
to defeat in the Senate this feature of the 
Treaty of Peace with Spain. I went to Wash 
ington to try to effect this, and remained there 
until the vote was taken. I was told that when 
Mr. Bryan was in Washington he had advised 
his friends that it would be good party policy 
to allow the treaty to pass. This would dis 
credit the Republican party before the people; 
that paying twenty millions for a revolution 
would defeat any party. There were seven 
staunch Bryan men anxious to vote against 
Philippines annexation. 

"Mr. Bryan had called to see men in New 


York upon the subject, because my opposition 
to the purchase had been so pronounced, and 
I now wired him at Omaha, explaining the sit 
uation and begging him to write me that his 
friends could use their own judgment. His 
reply was what I have stated better have the 
Republicans pass it and let it then go before 
the people. I thought it unworthy of him to 
subordinate such an is.sue, fraught with de 
plorable consequences, to mere party politics. 
It required the casting vote of the Speaker 
to carry the measure. One word from Mr. 
Bryan would have saved the country from the 
disaster. I could not be cordial to him for 
years afterwards. He had seemed to me a 
man who was willing to sacrifice his country 
and his personal convictions for party advan 

This is a significant verification of my conclusions, 
but it is rather amusing to read Carnegie s comments 
on the perfidy of Bryan. The facts in his own case do 
not permit him a great deal of latitude in criticizing 
others. Carnegie was a very active opponent of the 
treaty and of the doctrine of imperialism. He was a 
member of the conference which met at the Plaza Hotel 
(New York) on the 6th of January, 1900, and he took 
a prominent part in its discussions (see Chapter 
XXIII). The conference was called by the New Eng 
land Anti-Imperialist League, to organize an Anti-Im 
perialist political party for the purpose of compelling 
the old parties to agree to the independence of the 
Philippines, and for the purpose of opposing the acqui 
sition of tropical countries. 

The conference was called ostensibly to discuss the 
annexation of the Philippines and the Spanish West 
Indies and Hawaii. Its real purpose was to meet the 
broader question as to whether we should start on the 
course of empire. In a vigorous speech Mr. Carnegie 


urged upon the conference the necessity of a new polit 
ical party for the of opposing the imperial 
policy of both the old parties, and said that he would 
give as much money, dollar for dollar, as all the rest 
of us could raise toward promoting the campaign. As 
a pledge of good faith, he subscribed twenty-five thou 
sand dollars on the spot. Afterward, he withdrew com 
pletely from the movement because the organizers of 
the .steel trust served notice on him that he must choose 
between a comfortable berth with them and an Anti- 
Imperialist party, which threatened the whole success 
of the steel trust movement; and the organizers of 
the steel trust told Carnegie that, unless McKinley was 
elected, they would not attempt to form the trust, as 
they needed a McKinley tariff in order to justify its 
great overcapitalization. It was a case of imperialism 
and a tariff or no trust and Carnegie lined up with the 

Despite Mr. Carnegie s comments, he and Bryan 
measure up very much alike. Bryan was willing to 
sell his convictions for a .supposed political advantage ; 
Carnegie sold his for gold. Bryan s act was one of 
intellectual stupidity. Carnegie s act was prompted by 
what big business calls enlightened self-interest. 

Bryan has the point of view of an ordinary American 
business man. His ruling passion is "safety first" 
not the financial .safety of a manufacturer* but the 
political safety of a visionless manipulation of party 
machinery. This trait appeared very clearly in his 
activities during the Baltimore Convention of 1912, 
where Woodrow Wilson was nominated for President 
of the United States, with Champ Clark, Speaker of 
the House, as his chief opponent. The custom in Dem 
ocratic conventions had always been to disregard the 
two-thirds rule and give a candidate the nomination 
when he had secured a majority and held it for several 

At Baltimore, after Clark had for several ballots re 
ceived the votes of a majority of the delegates, Bryan, 


who had been instructed at the primaries to vote for 
Clark and use all honorable means to secure his nomi 
nation, arose in the convention and said that he would 
abandon him and violate the instructions of the Demo 
crats of Nebraska as long as the Democratic delegates 
in the convention from the state of New York continued 
to vote for Clark. This occurred after the delegations 
from New York, Virginia and Illinois had voted in the 
convention with Bryan to seat the Wilson delegates 
and oust the Clark delegates from South Dakota, al 
though Clark had carried South Dakota in the prima 
ries by twenty-five hundred majority. 

Bryan could vote with Roger Sullivan of Chicago, 
and Ryan of Virginia, and the Tammany Democrats of 
New York, to throw Clark delegates out of the conven 
tion and seat Wilson delegates, but his pure soul would 
not permit him to vote for Clark while New York dele 
gates were voting for him. This whole performance 
branded Bryan as not only a hypocrite, but also as a 
man lacking in character and in intellect 

Immediately upon Bryan making the announcement, 
I gave out the following interview which was published 
in all the leading newspapers of the United States : 

"Mr. Bryan s statement that he will support no can 
didate for President who has the support of New York 
is the rankest hypocrisy. It is the excuse of the dema 
gogue who believes that such a statement will be popu 
lar among the western voters, and has been seized 
upon by Mr. Bryan as an excuse for doing what he has 
intended to do ever since he was elected as a delegate 
to this convention by the Democrats of Nebraska. 

"He was not only instructed by the Democrats of 
Nebraska to vote for Mr. Clark, but instructed by the 
State Convention to use all honorable means to secure 
his nomination. After that, he stumped Ohio, Mary 
land and Florida in Wilson s interest. While claiming 
that he maintained strict neutrality between Clark and 
Wilson, during the last week in May, Wilson s man 
agers sent a letter to every Democratic voter in South 


Dakota saying that Mr. Bryan had endorsed Wilson 
and made .speeches in Ohio and Maryland in support of 

"This letter was circulated with Mr. Bryan s knowl 
edge and consent. Mr. Bryan was thoroughly familiar 
with the campaign made in South Dakota. He was 
familiar with the primary law of that state and knows 
that there were two Clark tickets in the field and that 
one of these was put up by Wilson s managers to divide 
the Clark vote, hoping to give Wilson a plurality. 

"He knows that this bogus ticket was not supported 
by the men who put it into the field, and he is fully 
aware that Clark carried the state by over twenty-five 
hundred majority over Wilson. Yet he voted to seat 
the Wilson delegates in this convention, joining with 
the ninety votes from New York and the fifty-eight 
from Illinois and the Virginia delegation, of which 
Mr. Ryan is a member, to oust the Clark delegates 
from South Dakota. Yet Mr. Bryan would now have 
us believe that no honest Democrat can co-operate with 
New York, Illinois and Virginia in this convention." 

The publication of this interview regarding Bryan s 
hypocrisy and the other facts connected with the Bal 
timore Convention ended his political career, and yet 
he still hopes that he will be nominated four years 
from now, for he honestly believes that he was pre 
destined from his birth to be President of the United 

This is the William Jennings Bryan, who "led" the 
Democratic party until he was succeeded by Woodrow 
Wilson the Bryan of political expediency and polit 
ical chicanery. He has traveled around the world, yet 
he knows little of international affairs. He has been 
from one end of the United States to another, yet he 
is ignorant of America. 

Furthermore, this is Bryanism a fluent tongue, a 
resonant voice, the plausible statement of half truths, 
an appeal to the passions and prejudices of the mo 
ment, a mediocre mind, and a verbal fealty to "right," 


"justice," "liberty" and "brotherhood." An ignorant 
elactorate has always followed after such superficial 

Bryan has never told any of the real truths of mod 
ern life, because he does not know them. He has never 
made a fight on an issue of principle because he has 
no abiding principle. He listens. He watches his au 
dience. He gauges its intelligence and then he makes 
his point. Mr. Bryan is reputed to be one of the best 
speakers in the United States. His reputation in this 
regard has been won not by what he says but by the 
way in which he says it. Nothing in his public career, 
with the possible exception of his resignation as Secre 
tary of State, has been based on a hard-fought or hard- 
won principle. Rather he has yielded to the necessity 
of the moment, trusting that in the end all would be 
well, but without foreseeing the end or understanding 
its import. 

Bryanism carries with it no taint of corruption no 
suggestion of wilful wrongdoing. It is the politics of 
an ignorant, unimaginable and of a rather vain mind 
that is quick in trifles and impotent before major issues. 
Reform politics in the United States has never existed 
on any other basis, and therefore reform politics has 
always proved an easy mark for the machinations of 
big business. 



So much for the weak Mr. Bryan. Now for the cor 
rupt Joe Cannon. Bryan never knowingly served the 
vested interests. He fought them to the extent of his 
ability and interspersed his political battles by giving 
lectures on "Prohibition" and "Immortality." Joe Can 
non, on the other hand, was one of the most faithful 
servants that the vested interests of the United States 
ever had in either house of Congress. He is a type of 
those all-too-numerous public men who are the political 
body-servants of big business. 

Joe Cannon is istill in Congress. For over forty years 
he has been a member of the House of Representa 
tives, and, as chairman of the Committee on Appro 
priations and, as Speaker, has had more to do with 
shaping legislation than any other man in the House. 
In fact, he was one of the leaders of the band of plun 
derers that, in both Houses of Congress, for two gen 
erations dominated the public affairs and made the 
Government of the United States one of the most cor 
rupt in the world. 

Under the guidance of this clique of men all legis 
lation was directed to the granting of special privileges 
to corporations, giving them power to tax and exploit 
the people of the United States. The tariff became the 
chief vehicle for the robbery of the public and its 
beneficiaries were the chief contributors to the great 
campaign funds collected by the Republican party to 
demoralize the voters of the nation. Under the regime 
of Cannonism concessions and privileges of every sort, 
not only for the public service and industrial corpora 
tions, but for the financial institutions of the country, 
received the chief attention of Congress, and these 
privileges were so profitable that the halls of the House 
and Senate swarmed with innumerable lobbyists whose 
vocation it was to appeal to the ordinary members of 
both branches with whatever argument was necessary, 


being assured in advance of the ardent and powerful 
support of Joe Cannon and the other leaders. 

The granting of these concessions and privileges, by 
which the few planned to plunder the many, is the 
essence of Cannonism. Elected to office of trust by the 
franchise of their fellow-citizens, Cannon and his like 
utilize their position to serve, not the people who 
elected them, but the great interests which provide the 
campaign funds and other forms of compensation. 

Thus a new profession arose the profession of pub 
lic lackeying to the plutocracy. To enter this profes 
sion it was necessary, first, to buy or fool the people, 
and, second, to convince the leaders of the plutocracy 
of your sincere intention to serve their interests. Thus 
was perfidy coupled with venality by these "public ser 
vants" who had taken an oath to support the Constitu 
tion and then busied themselves in robbing the people. 

Most of the leaders among the political spoilsmen 
were content with a reasonably extravagant living, but 
Cannon in the House and Aldrich in the Senate were 
not thus easily satisfied. The powerful positions which 
they held enabled them to become enormously rich. 

These men became rich because, through their posi 
tions of public trust, they were able to betray the Gov 
ernment and the people into the hands of the exploit 
ers. Let me cite a few illustrations of the way in which 
this was done. 

During the nineties there was much talk about the 
"land frauds." These frauds were the product of legis 
lation especially secured by Cannon and some of his 
aids in order that the railroads might secure valuable 
forest and mineral lands in the West and Northwest 
without paying anything for them beyond the cost of 
securing the legislation. I was the author of the law 
for the regulation and control of the forest reservations 
of the United States. (See Chapter II.) It was adopted 
by the Senate and, as adopted, contained a clause which 
permitted any homesteader, whose homestead was em 
braced within a forest reservation, to release his home- 


stead to the Government and be accredited with the 
time he had lived upon it, and allowed to take land from 
the Government in some other locality. Mr. Cannon 
was chairman of the Committee on Appropriations of 
the House, and chairman of the Conference Committee, 
and he inserted the words, "or any other claimant," so 
that, if the lands of a land grant railroad were em 
braced within a forest reservation, the railroad com 
pany could exchange them for any other lands the 
Government might possess. I did not observe this 
interlineation in the conference report, which was read 
rapidly and approved without first being printed. 
Afterward I found that the Northern Pacific Railroad 
was receiving scrip for the sections of land of its grant 
which were on the top of Mount Tacoma in Washing 
ton. Lands that were absolutely worthless were ex 
changed in this way for lands of the greatest value. 

I stated these facts in the Senate and suggested an 
appraisal of those lands that were embraced in the forest 
reservations on top of snow-capped mountains, and 
proposed that the exchange be made according to value. 
If they exchanged a section on top of one of these 
mountains that wasn t worth over a cent an acre for 
land worth ten or twenty dollars per acre, they should 
not get acre for acre, but exact value after appraisal; 
and I also moved that all operations under the law be 
suspended pending an investigation by the Interior De 
partment. The Senate passed my amendments, but 
with a full knowledge of all the facts, showing just 
what frauds had been practiced and how they were 
practiced; the House refused to agree to the Senate 
amendments, and, as is customary, the bill was thrown 
into conference. Cannon was chairman of the Commit 
tee on Conference, and chairman of the Committee on 
Appropriations in the House, and he insisted upon 
standing by the railroads and continuing the frauds, 
and so refused to agree to the Senate amendment, but 
inserted a provision that thereafter railroads could only 
exchange for surveyed lands. However, as the law 


provided that, when three settlers in a township peti 
tioned for the survey of the township the Government 
was bound to make the survey if the settlers deposited 
money enough to pay for the work, these railroad 
thieves would send three men into a township, would 
have them file three homestead entries, and then make 
affidavit that they were residing there and wanted the 
township surveyed ; would deposit the money necessary 
four or five hundred dollars to get the survey made 
and then the railroads would locate their scrip upon 
these lands all over the township, and when this was 
done the three men would move on and locate in an 
other township, and so continue the fraud. 

Cannon and his henchmen in the House and Senate 
made the frauds possible, and thus enabled the rail 
roads to secure many millions of dollars worth of the 
best land in the West for a small fraction of their true 
value. Thus the timber and mineral wealth of the 
public domain was turned over to the great corpora 
tions whose handymen were maintained in Congress for 
just such purposes. 

Cannonism is the profession of selling the country 
to the rich <so that they may be enabled to grow still 
richer by the exploitation of the poor. 

Another instance of Cannonism is found in the 
armor-plate scandals. 

For several years the Senate of the United States 
limited the price to be paid for armor-plate. The armor- 
plate manufacturers were in a trust. Everybody ad 
mitted that. There were only two plants in the United 
States that could manufacture armor-plate. One was 
the Carnegie Steel Company; the other the Bethlehem 
Steel Company. The Carnegie Steel Works and Beth 
lehem Steel Works were in a combination, and each 
always bid for just half of what the Government 
wanted, and always bid the same price. 

The Senate passed a bill limiting the price of armor- 
plate to $300 per ton, and under that provision no 
armor-plate was purchased because the companies re- 


fused to sell at that price. Two years afterwards the 
Senate passed an amendment to the Navy Appropria 
tion Bill limiting the price of armor-plate to $425 per 
ton. The Carnegie and Bethlehem companies were 
asking the United States Government $550 per ton, and 
were selling the same plate to the Russian Government 
for $240 per ton. The Senate amendment therefore 
provided that if the Secretary could not buy armor- 
plate for $425 per ton, the Government should imme 
diately commence to construct an armor-plate plant 
and make its own armor-plate. Joe Cannon was chair 
man of the Committee on Conference in the House, and 
he absolutely refused to submit to the Senate amend 
ment, but insisted that the armor-plate makers should 
have their price, although they were in a trust and in 
collusion. These facts were well known to him and to 
every member of both Houses. 

I could go into the details of the Congressional Rec 
ord with regard to the duty on white pine. The Senate 
reduced the duty from $2, the price fixed by the 
House, to $1 per thousand. Cannon refused to agree 
to the Senate amendment, but insisted upon $2, which 
was finally allowed. Under it, the lumber dealers of 
the whole country formed a combination and plundered 
the consumers, according to their own statement, of 
thirty-five millions per year. 

These facts were known to Cannon and to both 
Houses when this duty was put on white pine. It was 
well known that the duty would not furnish any rev 
enue to the Government or any protection to the build 
ing up of an infant industry, but it simply put $2 a 
thousand into the pockets of the owners of the white 
pine timber. The statement of Mr. Winchester and 
other lumbermen that if they could get $2 on lumber 
it would be worth thirty-five million dollars each year 
was read in the Senate. And yet Mr. Cannon stood pat 
on the tariff. 

When the tariff was revised, it was revised in the 
interest of the plutocracy and not in the interest of the 


people of the United States. Cannon s work in Con 
gress was done in the interest of the scheming jobbery 
that has cursed and controlled the Republican party 
for the last thirty years. 

I have used Cannon s name, not because I wish to 
discredit him as an individual, but because his story is 
so typical of the record of the many who are today 
holding offices of trust under the Government, and 
faithfully serving the American plutocracy. 



At a number of points in this discussion I have sug 
gested that business men used politicians for the ad 
vancement of their interests, and the politicians served 
the business interests first and the public afterward. 
My experience showed this to be true in a general way, 
but there were times when the combination of busi 
ness and politics rose to the surface of public events 
and became a gross and scandalous plundering of the 
public treasury in the interest of some specially favored 
business group. One such instance, involving the sale 
of Government bonds to a New York syndicate, is espe 
cially deserving of notice. 

Grover Cleveland, a New York state lawyer, was 
closely associated with the big business interests be 
fore he became President of the United States. During 
his second term as President, the gold reserve in the 
public treasury fell to a very low point. To meet this 
emergency, the President, through Carlisle, his Secre 
tary of the Treasury, issued bonds which were to be 
exchanged for gold and thus keep up the Federal gold 

The Wilson Tariff Bill was passed on August 14, 1894, 
for the purpose of saving the situation, but the mis 
chief had been done. On November 14, 1894, the Sec 
retary of the Treasury issued a call for $50,000,000 
five per cent, ten-year bonds under the Resumption Act 

The bonds sold in January, 1894, had been absorbed 
at home. The Stewart syndicate, which handled these 
bonds, had been treated fairly by the Government, and 
there was a disposition on the part of these bankers 
freely to subscribe for the new issue. 

Mr. Stewart and Mr. J. P. Morgan visited Washing 
ton in the interest of the syndicate, and it is repre 
sented, and generally believed, that Mr. Stewart, at 
least, had a distinct understanding with the President 
and with Mr. Carlisle that nothing would be done by 
the administration in any way whatever to interfere 


with the marketing of the bonds. These bankers, 
therefore, went back to New York and forwarded a 
bid for the whole amount of the bonds at $117. 

The total offers for these $50,000,000 of bonds 
amounted to $58,500,000. The award was made to the 
Stewart syndicate on the understanding that the gold 
to be paid for the bonds would not be taken from the 
treasury. Payment for the bonds was made promptly, 
$20,000,000 having been turned into the Sub-Treasury 
by the end of November. 

The syndicate immediately arranged to sell the bonds 
they had bought, and offered a lot of $5,000,000 at 119. 
It is believed that this amount was .sold at the price 
named, but, before they had an opportunity to dispose 
of any additional bonds, the President s message and 
the report of the Secretary of the Treasury recom 
mending changes in the currency law effectually 
stopped the marketing of Government bonds. 

This act, which was very apparently one of bad faith 
on the part of the administration, resulted in the disso 
lution of the syndicate and a great depression in the 
prices of bonds. When it came to subsequent bond 
issues, the administration turned over the bonds to 
certain financial groups in New York at a price far 
below their true value and thus enabled the new syndi 
cate to make millions of dollars without taking any 
risk, investing any capital or importing any gold. 

Senator Peffer, of Kansas, introduced a resolution to 
investigate the Cleveland bond sales. No sooner had 
this resolution appeared than David Bennett Hill, of 
New York, began a fight to prevent its passage. In the 
course of this struggle he attacked everyone that advo 
cated it, and defended the bond sales with great vigor. 

I would not mention Senator Hill in this connection 
were it not for the fact that his brief career is such a 
typical illustration of the relation between business and 

Hill (a Democrat) came to the Senate with the repu 
tation of being a lawyer of decided ability, and a polit- 


ical manipulator of some cunning and skill, having 
served as Governor of the state of New York.* He 
remained in the Senate only one term, for, at the end of 
his six years, Tom Platt Boss Platt, as he was called 
took Hill s place. 

Among the private jobs which Hill undertook to put 
through was an amendment to the Indian Appropria 
tion Bill, which practically confiscated the reservation 
of the Seneca Indians. He made the effort to rob the 
Indians of their homes under the guise of an old agree 
ment of some sort with the Ogden Land Company, by 
offering an amendment to the Indian bill, in which it 
was provided that $300,000 should be paid to the Ogden 
Land Company out of the sale of the land of the reser 
vation. He was exceedingly persistent, and offered this 
amendment on the floor of the Senate. The amend 
ment was clearly subject to a point of order and, after 
a considerable discussion, I stated in the Senate that 
there was present a lobby of adventurers who were 
interested in this claim, and that the only result would 
be that they would divide this money among them ; and 
I finally told Hill that, unless he accepted my amend 
ment which specifically provided that the lands of the 
Indians of New York should not be sold or any part of 

* Some idea of Hill s position in New York State politics 
may be gained from the following article appearing in a Demo 
cratic paper (The Times), February 23rd, 1896: 

"Senator Hill is a Democratic statesman of high degree, as 
statesmen go in that party. His term as senator will close next 
March and, during his nearly six years in the Senate, he has 
been responsible for but one bill, and that has not yet become 
a law. although it has passed the Senate and had been favorably 
reported from the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign 
Commerce. And what think you is this great and momentous 
piece of legislation that is to be the only rem nder to posterity 
that is, if it becomes a law that David B. Hill served six 
years in the Senate? It authorizes the Secretary of the Treas 
ury to detail a revenue cutter to control excursion and other 
boats which attend yacht races. Now, doesn t that prove the 
statesmanship of Hill?" 


them, or any of their property whatever appropriated 
for the purpose of paying this claim, I would insist upon 
a point of order and let it go to the House of Repre 
sentatives for their consideration. He accepted the 
amendment and it was adopted in conference. After 
wards, the Indians in council passed a resolution thank 
ing me for preventing Hill from plundering them from 
their property.f 

After a careful study of the facts and an investiga 
tion of the circumstances surrounding the Cleveland 
bond sales, I made a series of charges against the ad 
ministration. (May 5, 1896, Cong. Record.) 

I charged that the President, through the Treasury 
officials, sold sixty-two millions of bonds at private sale 
for $104% to his former clients, and that on the day 
of such sale the market price of these bonds, as quoted 
in the New York papers, was $117. 

f The following is a copy of the Resolution of the New 
York Indians: 

"At a council of the Seneca Nat on of New York Indians, 
assembled at the Council Home at Cold Springs, on the Alle 
gheny Reservation, on the twelfth day of April, in the year one 
thousand eight hundred and ninety-five, the following resolu 
tion was adopted: 

"RESOLVED: That we s. ncerely tender our thanks to 
the Honorable Richard F. Pettigrew, of Sioux Falls, South 
Dakota, United States Senator, for his valuable services ren 
dered to our delegates while on their visit to the United States 
Congress at Washington, D. C., and for the deep interest he 
has taken in the welfare of his red brethren in opposing the 
passage of the amendment to the Indian Appropriation Bill 
relative to the claims of the so-called Ogden Land Company 
to the lands of the Senecas on the Cataraugus Reservations. 

"A true copy. 

"William C. Hoag, 
President, Seneca Nations of Indians. 

"Alfred L. Jimson, 
Clerk, Seneca Nation of Indians. 
"Great Seal of the Seneca 
Nation of New York, 1876." 


I charged that the purchaser and others associated 
with them, the plutocrats and autocrats of New York, 
sold these bonds to the public in a short time at a profit 
of $8,418,000. 

I charged that the syndicate was to pay in gold for 
these bonds sixty-two million dollars, and that one-half 
of the gold was to be imported and that part of the con 
tract requiring the gold to be imported was not carried 
out and that less than fifteen millions of gold was im 

I charged that a secret agreement was made with 
the syndicate by which they were released from im 
porting the gold and allowed to sell exchange against 
the gold received for the bonds in England to the great 
profit and advantage of the syndicate. 

I charged that negotiations were completed to sell 
this same syndicate one hundred millions of bonds at 
$104% and it would have been carried out but for the 
protests of the public. 

I charged that after the public and the Senate had 
protested against the sale of any more bonds at private 
sale, the administration delayed action until the syndi 
cate of bankers could get together and corner the gold 
so that the public could not bid, and then the President 
offered the bonds at a pretended public sale, and that 
the bonds were sold at about $111, mostly to the syndi 
cate, while, if there had been an honest effort before 
the gold had been cornered they would have brought 
$117 at least. 

I charged that about five millions of the bonds were 
not taken by the bidders and the Secretary of the 
Treasury could have sold these bonds for $117, but that 
he gave them to Morgan & Company for $110.68, caus 
ing a loss to the Treasury of several hundred thousand 

I had summarized the matter, as I understood it, in 
the following words (April 29, 1896, Cong. Record, 
p. 5004) : 

"Mr. President, the plain statement of the facts con- 


nected with the several bond issues by the present ad 
ministration constitutes an arraignment which no elo 
quence could make stronger. First, there was the 
attack upon the credit of the United States by the 
inspired object lesson from the banks of New York; 
then the extra session of the Fifty-third Congress; 
then the passage of the Wilson tariff for a deficit; the 
further depreciation of the national credit by the dem 
onstration that the revenues were not equal to the 
necessary expenditures of the Government; then the 
endless chain the first bond issue of $50,000,000 of 
five per cent ten-year bonds at a fixed price of $117.077 ; 
the depreciation of the market value of these bonds by 
the recommendation to Congress that a bill be passed 
discontinuing the use of them as a basis of bank-note 
circulation ; then the secret contract with the Belmont- 
Morgan syndicate for the sale of $62,000,000 of thirty- 
year four per cent bonds at $104%, which bonds were 
quoted last December at 121 ; finally the attempt to give 
to the Morgan syndicate the last loan of $100,000,000 
at the same figure, and the actual award to them at 
their bid of $110.6877 of about $5,000,000 upon which 
default was made in payment, for which other parties 
offered 116, and which were quoted in open market at 
a higher price. 

"Upon this record, Mr. President, the administration 
and the Democratic party must go before the people 
next November, and the verdict of the people will be 
even more emphatic in condemnation than it was in 
1894 and in 1895." 

Nor was I alone in making a fight to have the facts 
regarding this infamous transaction brought to light. 
A number of western senators, backed by Populist con 
stituencies, were as eager as I was to have the facts 
placed before the country. And in their case, as well 
as in mine, it was David Bennett Hill that "talked back." 

In the debate over the Seneca Indian Reservation I 
had characterized the claim which Hill was supporting 
as robbery. This had very much offended Mr. Hill, 


who waited about three months and, in the meantime, 
having sent to Dakota for information, he secured some 
Sioux Falls newspapers containing editorials by J. Tom- 
linson, Jr., attacking me personally and politically in 
the most outrageous manner. In the course of a speech 
on the Cleveland bond sales Hill read these editorials 
into the record. After reading several of the editorials 
himself, he asked the clerk to do the reading. As the 
clerk read, Hill stopped him frequently with such ex 
clamations as "What s that? Read that over." By 
this trick he had each abusive statement read twice. 
Throughout the episode he behaved like an endman in 
a minstrel show. 

I had said in my speech in regard to the bond sales 
that the President and the Secretary of the Treasury 
were evidently enriching their favorites, for the pur 
chasers of these bonds were all prominent New York 
people, and they cornered all the gold there was in the 
country, and were giving for the bonds from ten to fif 
teen per cent less on the dollar than they would sell for 
in the open market, and I charged that they had thus 
made about eighteen millions of dollars, and that it 
looked like a very disreputable and dishonest job. And 
so, when Hill had finished his attack upon me by read 
ing these editorials, I simply arose and said that I had 
charged the administration and the financiers of New 
York with acting in collusion to plunder the people of 
the United States in connection with this bond transac 
tion, and that Mr. Hill seemed to think that the com 
plete answer to charges was to read scurrilous political 
editorials with regard to myself. I said if he was sat 
isfied with the answer I was entirely satisfied, and that 
Hill had honored me by this attack in the only way he 
could honor anybody he had convinced the Senate and 
the country that we had nothing in common. 

Senator Peffer s resolution to appoint a special com 
mittee to investigate the bond sale was finally amended 
to request the Committee on Finance of the Senate to 
make the investigation through a sub-committee of 


four senators, that is, Harris of Tennessee, Walthall of 
Mississippi, Vest of Missouri and Platt of Connecticut, 
all lawyers, three of them Democrats and in .sympathy 
with the administration. This committee made some 
investigation, but never made a report to the Senate. 

Who were the chief actors in this scandalous bond 
transaction ? First, the President of the United States, 
Grover Cleveland, a Buffalo lawyer; second, John Car 
lisle, a lawyer from Kentucky, who had been a great 
advocate of bi-metallism and who sold his convictions 
in order to get Cleveland to appoint him Secretary of 
the Treasury; David Bennett Hill, a lawyer from New 
York, who was the champion on the floor of the Senate ; 
John Sherman, a Republican and a lawyer from Ohio. 
During the twelve years that I was in the Senate, two- 
thirds of both Houses of Congress were lawyers and 
the Presidents were all lawyers Harrison, Cleveland 
and McKinley. The consequence was that all legisla 
tion was framed in the interests of the exploiters of 
the people of the United States, whether it dealt with 
bond sales, armor-plate, railway mail pay, land grants 
of the public domain, ship bounties the rights and in 
terests of the people of the United States were never 
considered. In fact, we have become a government ad 
ministered by lawyers who were acting as the attorneys 
and representatives of the great exploiting combina 
tions of banks, railroads and industries. 

I have gone into the question of these bond sales 
because they illustrate one of the methods by which the 
people of the United States are exploited in the inter 
ests of the capitalists. Several millionaires were made 
as the result of the transaction and the American people 
footed the bill. It was a comparatively small deal 
probably thirty millions were made out of it but it 
illustrates very well the operations of the system, and 
the way the machinery of government is manipulated 
to accumulate the wealth of the country in the hands 
of the few. 



Before leaving the subject of American political life 
and its control by big business, I want to refer to one 
more incident the election that cost me my place in 
the United States Senate. 

Mark Hanna managed the campaign of 1900 and 
after McKinley took office Hanna managed the Presi 
dent even more successfully than he had managed the 
campaign. Through ten strenuous years I had fought 
Hanna and all that he stood for. I had opposed him on 
the gold standard issue ; I had led the opposition to the 
schemes of the imperialists for annexing Hawaii ; I had 
opposed the acquisition of the Philippines and the other 
Spanish colonies. I had opposed the trusts, the extor 
tion of the railroads, the armor plate thieves, and 
had tried to save the public domain for the people. 
Consequently, when it came to the election of 1900, 
Mark Hanna spared no pains to insure my elimination 
from public life. 

The incident which inspired Hanna with a particu 
larly strong desire to have me out of the way arose out 
of a charge concerning a campaign contribution to the 
Republican party. 

In 1895 I went to Europe and stayed several months. 
I returned on the American Line steamship "St Louis" 
in company with Cramp, the shipbuilder and owner of 
the line of ships. During the voyage I became well 
acquainted with Mr. Cramp and we talked a great deal 

One day he told me that he had paid $400,000 to Tom 
Carter, chairman of the Republican National Commit 
tee, to re-elect Harrison in 1892. He said that he was 
assured by Carter that his $400,000 would certainly 
elect Harrison. Carter told him where he was going 
to spend the money, and that he "could get it back out 
of building ships for the Government after Harrison 
was elected." "Harrison was defeated," said Cramp, 
"and I lost my money. I have since looked the matter 


up and have found that Mr. Carter did not spend the 
money where he said he would .spend it, and I feel that 
I am a victim of misrepresentation." 

Mr. Cramp wanted to know of me how he could re 
cover the $400,000, and I told him I knew of no way 
except to make terms with the next administration and 
increase his contribution. 

In December, when the Senate had convened, I went 
one day over to Tom Carter s seat and told him what 
Cramp had said to me. Carter smiled and replied, 
"Well, we did hit the old man pretty hard." 

Some time afterward, in a discussion with regard to 
the building of an armor-plate factory, I told on the 
floor of the Senate what Cramp had said to me about 
the $400,000. Carter, ex-chairman of the Republican 
National Committee, and Mark Hanna, then chairman 
of the committee, were both in their .seats, but neither 
of them made any reply or took any notice of my state 
ment. Some time afterwards Senator Bacon, of Georgia, 
interrupted a speech by Senator Hanna to say : 

Mr. BACON: "In this connection I want to call the 
attention of the Senate to the most remarkable thing 
I ever heard and the most remarkable thing I ever saw 
in the Senate. I fancy that the country has never been 
the witness to what we saw and heard in this chamber 
a few days ago. 

"A senator in his place in this chamber stated as a 
fact that the manufacturer of ships, a prominent and 
the most prominent firm engaged in the manufacture 
of warships for the Government, had stated that in 
1892 he was approached by the officers of the Republi 
can party and induced to give $400,000 to the campaign 
fund of that party upon the assurance that the money 
would be returned to him or made good to him in the 
contracts which he should have in the building of war 

"Now, Mr. President, the remarkable thing that I 
want to call the attention of the Senate to is this: I 
heard that statement. I did not doubt that it would 


then and there be promptly challenged. I did not be 
lieve that such a statement could be made in the Sen 
ate of the United States in the presence of the leaders 
of the Republican party and no one deny it or call it 
in question. 

"Now, that was not made in a thin Senate; it was 
made in a full Senate. It was made when the chair 
man of the National Committee of the Republican 
party in the campaign of 1892 was in his seat and heard 
it, as well as the chairman of the Republican National 
Committee at the time, Mr. Hannah, and yet no one 
either challenged it or denied it. 

"Mr. President, in the absence of such a challenge 
and such a denial, the country must believe it is true." 

And Mr. Hanna made the following reply : 

Mr. HANNA: "Mr. President 

from Georgia yield to the Senator from Ohio ?" 

Mr. BACON: "I do, with pleasure." 

Mr. HANNA : "The Senator alludes to the fact that 
the chairman of the Republican Committee was in his 
seat and did not deny the statement made." 

Mr. BACON: "If I am incorrect in that, I certainly 
made it in good faith. I think I saw the Senator pres 

Mr. HANNA: "If I undertook to reply to all such 
.statements made upon this floor, I would occupy more 
time than the Senator from Georgia does in the Senate. 
I considered it unworthy of notice and declined to dig 
nify it by a reply." 

It may well be noticed that Mr. Hanna did not under 
take to deny my statement and for this reason : Imme 
diately after I had made the statement in the Senate 
several of the prominent Republican members of the 
Senate and a number of newspaper men went to see 
Cramp, and Cramp told them that what I had said was 
true; that he did tell me that he made a contribution 
of over four hundred thousand dollars to Harrison s 
campaign ; that he made it upon the misrepresentations 


of Tom Carter ; that he consulted with me as to how to 
get the money back; that he had not told it to me in 
confidence, but for the purpose of securing my assis 
tance in getting the money returned to him. One of 
the newspaper men reported what Cramp said. Of 
course, Cramp s statement to these Senators and news 
paper men left the Republicans where it was impossible 
for them to meet my charge except by ignoring it. 

After Hanna had said that if he answered such 
statements he would take more of the Senate s time 
than was occupied by the Senator from Georgia, and 
that the source from which the report came was un 
worthy of notice, I rose and said that perhaps I had 
something that would be of interest to the great man 
from Ohio and that did come from a source worthy of 
his notice. I thereupon stated to the Senate that I had 
in my hand a petition from the Ohio State Senate, 
signed by four out of the five members of the Commit 
tee on Elections of the Ohio State Senate, asking the 
United States Senate to investigate the election of Mr. 
Hanna to that body. I said that this petition charged 
that Mr. Hanna, to .secure his election to the United 
States Senate, had purchased the votes of two members 
of the Ohio Legislature from the city of Cincinnati; 
that the purchasing was done by Hanna agents under 
Hanna s direction ; that the sum of ten thousand dollars 
had been paid to one of the legislators ; and I said that 
this petition had been referred to the Committee on 
Elections to the United States Senate. After I called the 
attention of the Senate and the country to this venal 
and corrupt practice on the part of Mr. Hanna in pur 
chasing his seat on the Senate, the majority of the 
Senate Committee on Elections made a report and 
stated that, as no official person came from the Ohio 
legislature to present and to prosecute the case against 
Mr. Hanna before the Committee on Elections, they 
had concluded not to look into the matter. But the 
minority of the Committee on Privileges and Elections 
in the Senate made the following report : 


"We cannot concur in the report of the majority of 
the Committee on Privileges and Elections in the mat 
ter of the report of the committee appointed by the 
Senate of the State of Ohio to investigate the charges 
of bribery in the election of the Hon. M. A. Hanna to 
the Senate of the United States. 

"The charge is that early in January, 1898, an at 
tempt was made by H. H. Boyce and others to bribe 
John C. Otis, a member of the House of Representa 
tives of the General Assembly of the State of Ohio to 
vote for Marcus A. Hanna for the Senate of the United 

Among other things, the majority of the committee 
had reported: 

"Moreover, it seems clear to this committee that it 
would not be justified in recommending any action to be 
taken by the Senate without further testimony to be 
taken by the committee. The question whether addi 
tional evidence should be taken has been the only diffi 
cult question which the committee has considered. It 
is clear that Mr. Otis never had any intention of yield 
ing to bribery. He encouraged Mr. Boyce by the advice 
of others only in order to entrap him. Then he care 
fully withdrew and substituted his attorney, Mr. Camp 
bell, to continue the negotiations. Mr. Campbell labored 
to induce Mr. Boyce to offer money and, finally, as he 
says, obtained $1,750 from him as part payment 
on $3,500 to be paid for Mr. Otis vote for Mr. Hanna, 
leaving $6,500 to be paid if Mr. Hanna was elected. At 
this point, public exposure, through Mr. Otis, Mr. Camp 
bell and their associates, took place, Mr. Boyce disap 
peared, and the incident was closed. 

"That Mr. Boyce, operating in Cincinnati, where Mr. 
Otis lives, has relations with Mr. Hanna s representa 
tives at Columbus, the state capital, the State Commit 
tee undertook to prove by the evidence of various de 
tectives, professional and amateur, who listened at tel 
ephone wires and shadowed Mr. Boyce, Mr. Hollenbeck 
and others. The effort of the committee was carefully 


and skilfully made. It was not wholly devoid of re 
sults; it raises pregnant suspicions that Mr. Hanna s 
representatives at Columbus knew what Mr. Boyce was 
doing. But this whole line of inquiry would require 
verification by testimony to be taken by the Commit 
tee on Privileges and Elections before that committee 
would be willing to found conclusions thereon." 

The quotation is from the report of the majority of 
the committee. Now we will see what the minority 
further say: 

"The attempt on the part of Boyce to buy Otis vote 
for Mr. Hanna is clearly proven by Campbell who, from 
his testimony, seems to have been a lawyer of large 
practice. One thousand seven hundred and fifty dol 
lars was paid in cash by Boyce to Campbell as attorney 
for Otis. Boyce agreed to pay $1,750 more when Otis 
reached Columbus, and a balance of $6,500 if Mr. 
Hanna was elected. . . . 

"We think that the evidence to which we have al 
ready referred, standing as it does uncontradicted and 
unexplained, shows that certain of Mr. Hanna s man 
agers at Columbus not only knew the purposes which 
Boyce had in view in Cincinnati, but also that they 
aided, abetted, and advised him in carrying out these 
purposes, and that this .state of affairs existed while 
Mr. Hanna was present at his headquarters. . . . 

"First, That many of the witnesses, whose testimony 
apparently would have thrown much light upon the 
subject under inquiry, denied the jurisdiction of the 
the committee and refused to testify under the advice 
of counsel, who stated that they represented the inter 
ests of Majors Rathbone and Dick and Senator Hanna; 

"Second, That Mr. Hanna and his representatives 
had subpoenas. 

"The report of the majority says they do not doubt 
that if facts appeared from the report of the commit 
tee of the State Senate requiring the United States 
Senate, out of a proper regard for its own reputation, 


to take further testimony concerning Mr. Hanna s elec 
tion, it would be the duty of the Senate to proceed 
without waiting for further prosecution of the case 
coming from residents of the state of Ohio/ 

"We think such facts do appear from the report of 
the committee of the State Senate, and that this body 
should direct further inquiry and investigation to be 

The minority who signed this report was composed 
of Senators Tubley, Pettus and Caffery. 

After reading this and much more of the same kind 
of evidence to the Senate, I said : 

"Mr. President, these things are known to the Amer 
ican people. It will not do for the Senator from Ohio 
to stand up here and say that charges of this ,sort if 
he answered all that were made he could not do much 
else are unworthy of consideration or notice. From the 
Senate of his own state come these charges; from a 
minority of the committee of this body come these 
charges, and yet the Senator from Ohio says they are 
unworthy of his notice that they are little things." 

This report of the Senate Committee is rather a re 
markable document; all who signed the majority re 
port were Republicans and Mark Hanna was chairman 
of the Republican National Committee, and the general 
factotum of the whole Republican party. He repre 
sented the interests of great business and was a busi 
ness man. He had collected vast sums of money to 
corrupt the voters of this country and elect McKinley 
in 1896. So accustomed had the Republicans of the 
Senate become to the use of money that it did not dis 
turb them at all that Mr. Hanna had purchased his seat 
in that body. The facts which I presented did not cause 
even a ripple of interest, and the Senators did not seem 
to care if the public knew all about it. During the quar 
ter-century that has elapsed since this episode the 
purchase of seats in the Senate has become so common 
that it attracts no public attention. Why should it 
when even the presidency of the United States is put 


up at auction in the Republican National Convention 
and knocked down to the highest bidder? 

Mr. Hanna was furious at w r hat I had said about him 
and he determined that he would have revenge! My 
term in the Senate would expire in 1901, and Mark 
Hanna made up his mind to prevent my re-election. 

I was not running as a stalwart Republican in the 
election of 1900, for I had walked out of the St. Louis 
Republican Convention in 1896. I was running as a 
Bryanite on the Bryan Free Silver Republican ticket 
in South Dakota. Mr. Hanna raised a vast sum of 
money to corrupt the voters of South Dakota, and put 
in charge of the work Henry Payne, of Milwaukee, one 
of the well-known hangers-on of every Republican cam 

Payne came out to South Dakota with $30,000 
and in conjunction with the Republican organization 
of the state and the help of A. B. Kittridge, a Sioux 
Falls lawyer, afterwards a Republican United States 
Senator, they polled the state of South Dakota on 
the probability of my election. This task was not a 
great one. The total population of the state at that 
time was only 401,570, with a total vote in 1900 of 
96,124. Payne sent out 200 teams and visited every 
farmer and voter in the state. When they had finish 
ed the canvass they found that I had the state by 
several thousand majority. 

This greatly alarmed Mr. Hanna and the Repub 
lican campaign managers, for they considered it of 
great political importance to get rid of me. 

Senator Allison, of Iowa, came to Dakota to see 
how the campaign was going on. He made no 
speeches, but simply looked over the possibilities of 
eliminating me from public life. He was being en 
tertained in my home town, when C. C. Bailey, a 
prominent attorney, asked him about me. Allison 
replied that I had the greatest power for making 
trouble of any man he ever knew, and that the in- 


terests of the party and the people of this country 
would be best served by getting me out of the Senate. 

Senator Nelson of Minnesota also came to South 
Dakota and canvassed the State and in his speeches 
said Mr. Pettigrew should be defeated because he had 
opposed the great business interests that controlled 
the Government and the Republican party and there 
fore, if South Dakota wanted to get anything out of 
the Government, they should elect a man that would 
train with the gang. 

Theodore Roosevelt also joined in the contest against 
me as the candidate of the Republicans for vice 
president on the ticket with McKinley, and sent the 
following telegram to Senator Platt in October, 1900: 

"Good Lord, I hope we can beat Pettigrew for the 
Senate. That particular swine .seems to me, on the 
whole, the most obnoxious of the entire drove." 

Why was Roosevelt opposed to my election? Be 
cause he was the candidate of the predatory interests 
that own the Government of the United States. 
Charles Edward Russell answered my question. 

Asserting that many public men of value to the 
country have been cried down by the clamor of sub 
sidized newspapers, Mr. Russell says further: 

"I have .seen this happen a thousand times. Every 
observer, particularly if he has been a newspaper 
man, must be familiar with it. Years ago there was 
a man in the United States Senate that certain news 
papers did not like, because he had attacked the inter 
ests that owned these newspapers. The newspapers 
covered that man with ridicule by misrepresenting 
everything he did or said. They convinced a large 
part of the country that he was a wild, erratic, absurd, 
visionary; when, as a matter of fact, he had one of 
the coolest, clearest and .steadiest minds I have ever 
known in a long acquaintance with public men and 
affairs. Yet the news columns drove him out of public 
life, to the great interest of the puMic interests. I 


have no objection to mentioning his name. It was 
R. F. Pettigrew. 

"He was ahead of the times, for his vision was 
clearer than most men now occupying positions of 
public trust, and he realized then that the interests 
were weaving the web of autocratic control about the 
several departments of the Government. 

"Possessing the courage of his convictions, he stood 
almost alone as a target for the shafts of mendacious 
newspapers, many of them instigated by the sullen 
command of great wealth. They were merciless and 
the people believed them rather than the man who had 
interceded in their behalf." 

After Henry Payne s canvassers had reported the 
result of their poll of the people of the state of 
Dakota, Hanna went out among the railroad in 
terests, the trust interests and the financial interests 
of this country, and raised a special fund of $500,000 
to be expended in the purchase of Dakota votes. I 
did not believe that it could be done because I had 
great confidence in the farmers of Dakota and I Bad 
underestimated the resources of the business inter 
ests, overestimated the possibilities of ordinary 
human nature. Hanna himself came to South Da 
kota and stumped the state with Senator Fry, of 
Maine. The railroads furnished a special train. 
The State Committee had been lavish with its publi 
city and great crowds met the Hanna special at 
every station. 

At Midson, where there is a normal school, Hanna 
began his speech by taking off his hat and saying, 
"You see, I have no horns." 

The next day I addressed the same crowd largely 
composed of farmers and said, "Of course Mark 
Hanna has no horns, I dehorned him in the Senate." 
And then I told the ,story of how he had bought his 
seat in that body. A day or two after my speech at 
Madison, Hanna came to Sioux Falls and addressed 


a large outdoor meeting and someone in the crowd 
yelled to Hanna to take off his hat and show the 
crowd where Pettigrew dehorned him. 

I was very badly beaten in the election. After it was 
over I made an investigation to determine how the 
work had been done. The Republicans had visited 
every banker in every country town in the State; had 
deposited a sum of money with him, and had given him 
minute instructions as to the part that he was to play 
in the campaign. 

The local representatives of the Republican party 
would then take a list of the farmers, and watch for 
each man. When he came into town they would take 
him over the bank and the banker would hand him 
ten dollars in cash. 

"That is yours," the representative of the Republican 
party would state, "and if Pettigrew loses this town 
ship (or county) in the election there is ten dollars 
more for you at the bank that you can get by coming 
in and asking for it after election." 

In some cases, in several cases of which I know per 
sonally, the ,sum was twenty dollars before election and 
twenty dollars after election. 

Hanna boasted, after the election, that my name was 
never mentioned in any of his campaign speeches by 
either himself or Senator Fry. But his statement is 
false in this respect, for a Roberts County paper pub 
lished the following just after Mark Hanna s visit: 

"Mark Hanna at Sisseton Indian Agency, South Da 
kota, in an address to Two Stars, chief of the Sissetons, 
chaperoned by Mr. Sapackman, chairman of the Rob 
erts County Republican Committee: 

" I understand that half of you Indians are going to 
vote for Bryan and Pettigrew. I understand that your 
annuities from the Government, due in about six weeks, 
are $22 per capita. That is enough for Indians who 
vote against the Great Father. If all the Sisseton In 
dians will vote the Republican ticket, I will have the 
Government increase their annuities $75 per head. 


This will give to the Sisseton Indians $75 apiece instead 
of $22 apiece. Do you tumble ? 

"They tumbled and God did not forbid that citizen 
Mark Hanna should attempt to divert the will of the 
sovereign people or tamper with the sanctity of their 

I have since talked with many of these Indians who 
heard Mark Hanna s statement to them, and who cor 
roborate this story from the local newspaper. They 
also told me that Mark Hanna never made any effort 
to secure for them seventy-five dollars per capita which 
he had promised them if they would vote against me. 

I also learned that, during the campaign, the Repub 
lican Committee of South Dakota had trunkfuls of 
blank passes from every railroad in the country. Upon 
these passes they could send a man and his family to 
any point in the United States or the adjacent countries 
and return, free of cost and at the expense of the rail 
road. I know of several prominent Democrats who 
made long excursions after the election, one of them 
taking his family to the Hawaiian Islands. 

Mark Hanna had secured these passes by appealing 
to the railroads when they made their effort to swindle 
the Government out of the money which had been ad 
vanced to build the roads. He had also cited my bills 
for the Government ownership of all the roads in the 
United States, as well as my exposures of the swindles 
in connection with the Railway Mail Pay. Consequently 
the railroads not only furnished transportation, but a 
considerable amount of the money used against me. 
James J. Hill, president of the Great Northern Road, 
told me afterwards that Mark Hanna had assessed him 
fifty thousand dollars, and he told Hanna that he not 
only would not give a single dollar towards trying to 
defeat me in South Dakota, but he would not give the 
Republican National Committee any money whatever 
if they were going to undertake the purchase of the 
voters of South Dakota. 

After the election, I was in the Auditorium Hotel, 


in Chicago, getting lunch one day, when a young man 
came in and asked, Is this ex-Senator Pettigrew? 

"Yes," I said, "it is." 

"Well," said the young man, "I want to tell you of 
an incident that might be of interest to you. I was 
Mark Hanna s private secretary in 1900, and on elec 
tion day Hanna left Chicago and went back to Cleveland 
to vote, leaving me in charge of the Republican head 
quarters. About ten o clock election night, Hanna called 
me up over the phone and wanted to know about the 
election. I told him that McKinley was undoubtedly 
elected, and Hanna replied, Oh, I know 7 that; but how 
about Pettigrew? I thereupon replied, Pettigrew is 
undoubtedly beaten, and Hanna said, If you are sure 
of that I can go home and go to bed and to sleep. I 
wanted to accomplish two things in this election to 
elect McKinley and to beat Pettigrew, and I did not 
know which I wanted the worst. 

I think that was the most striking compliment that 
was ever paid to my work in the Senate. I had kept 
up my attacks upon the plutocracy until their spokes 
man was as anxious to defeat me as he was to elect a 
president. I sent thousands of copies of the following 
letter to the voters of South Dakota in my campaign 
for re-election to the United States Senate in 1900 : 

"Sioux Falls, S. D., July 24, 1900. 
"Dear Sir: 

"I enclose herewith a copy of the platform adopted 
at Kansas City. It is a new Declaration of Indepen 
dence. It is the platform upon which I am running 
for re-election to the United States Senate. I have 
been twice elected to the Senate from South Dakota, 
receiving the united support of the Republicans of the 
state, and in both instances also of very many of the 
Democrats and Populists. 

"I am now a candidate for re-election upon the plat 
form which I enclose, because I think it embraces the 
best settlement of the great principles involved in the 


coming political contest that I have seen. I am not 
therefore a candidate for re-election as a Republican, 
for the reason that I believe this contest is not one be 
tween political parties, but is a contest between those 
who wish to preserve Republican institutions in this 
country and prevent the Republic from becoming an 
aristocracy. It is a battle between the Man and the 
Dollar; between concentrated wealth in the hands of a 
few people and the great mass of the people who have 
produced the wealth, but who are unable, owing to a 
pernicious system of transportation and combination of 
capital, to enjoy that which they produce. 

"The Republican party has been captured by the evil 
elements, by the great transportation companies, the 
great money trusts, and the great combinations of capi 
tal which have gained control of our manufacturing 
industries. It is therefore for the interest of the Re 
publican party to perpetuate that legislation which has 
produced the condition in regard to the distribution of 
wealth in this country, against which I protest. 

"I have not changed my views upon these great issues 
since I ceased to act with the Republican party polit 
ically. My votes in the Senate on all these questions 
have been the same during the past four years as they 
were during the previous seven years. If I had changed 
my position on these questions my enemies would have 
ample proof of the fact in the Record of the Senate; 
but the votes which I have recorded show that my 
position has not been changed, but the position of the 
Republican party has changed completely so much so 
that, when I offered an amendment to the last Repub 
lican Tariff Bill, refusing protection to articles con 
trolled by the trusts unless they dissolved the trusts, 
and allowed free competition within our own country, 
every Republican Senator voted against it and defeated 
the measure. 

"When the War Revenue Bill, to pay the expenses of 
carrying on the war with Spain, was under considera 
tion, I offered an amendment to tax the products of the 


trusts as a means of raising revenue, or compelling the 
dissolution of the trusts, and every Republican Senator 
voted against my amendment. 

"We offered an amendment to levy a tax upon in 
comes to support our armies in the contest with Spain, 
and all the Republican members of the Senate voted 
against it, and the bill was so framed as to lay the 
entire burden of taxation upon the individual upon 
consumption so that the poor man would pay just as 
much as the man of enormous wealth. 

"Against this unequal and unfair distribution of the 
burdens of taxation I protested, on the ground that it 
tended to the unequal distribution of wealth; and that 
where the wealth of a country was once gathered into 
the hands of a few men the manhood of the masses was 
destroyed and the institutions of our country endan 
gered. But the Republican party, controlled by evil 
influences and headed by Mark Hanna, persisted in 
their policy, which has made it impossible for me to 
act with them politically. 

"I left the Republican party in 1896 for the reason 
that I felt that the party had left the side of the people 
in its abandonment of bimetallism; but, above all, be 
cause of the fact that it omitted from its platform at 
St. Louis all allusion whatever to the trusts. Since 
that time, its course has been more and more in the 
direction of plutocracy, more and more in the direction 
of the government of the few to the disregard of the 
many, and their interests ; and it has culminated in an 
effort to conquer people living in the tropics, and to 
annex to this country territory that will never be or 
ganized into states, and in the establishment of a colo 
nial policy in violation of the Constitution of the United 
States and of the Declaration of Independence, and of 
every theory of Government we have advocated as a 

"I believe that colonial possessions mean a standing 
army of great proportions, and a vast horde of office 
holders serving a long distance from home, governing 


an unwilling people, which must result in constant con 
flict, and end in the curtailment of the right to vote 
among our own people, and a suppression of all protest 
by the armed forces assembled and equipped in the first 
instance for the purpose of conquering these distant 

"Under these circumstances, no matter what may be 
the consequences to me personally, I feel it my duty to 
do everything in my power to overthrow at the polls the 
dominion and control of the Republican party, and thus 
restore this country in letter and in spirit back to the 
principles and doctrines of its founders, so that it may 
continue to be an example to all people who believe in 
the doctrine of self-government, and that governments 
derive their just powers from the consent of the 

"I thus write you this long letter, hoping to make 
my own position clear, and stimulate you to greater 
activity and effort in the coming campaign. I should 
like very much to hear from you on this subject. 

"Yours truly, 




During the years of my acquaintance with Amer 
ican public life, I have seen the center of power move 
from Washington to Wall Street. When I first entered 
the Senate they talked of the "invisible empire of busi 
ness." During the nineties that empire ceased to be 
invisible it came out in the open, and through its rep 
resentatives and attorneys on the floor of the Senate 
and the House it fought its battles for privilege and 
plunder fought them and won them. 

The plutocracy established its right to plunder the 
people of the United States. Through the banks, the 
railroads and the trusts, it robbed them openly and 
shamelessly, and those few of us who fought on the 
side of the people and against these masters of privi 
lege, were driven out of public life for our pains. Laws 
aimed to promote the general welfare were not so much 
as considered in Washington. The work of Congress 
was, first and last, to protect and safeguard the inter 
ests of big business. 

I saw this thing and faced it. I fought it in the 
Senate during twelve years with all the strength and 
ability at my command, and when those twelve years 
of struggle were ended, the business power was im 
measurably stronger than it was when they began. 

The real strength of big business came over the issue 
of imperialism. The right to plunder at home had been 
pretty firmly established by the time the Sherman Law 
was passed in 1890. The right to plunder abroad had 
never come up for serious consideration. 

From 1870 to 1890 the business interests of the 
United States were busy building railroads, opening 
mines and establishing factories. Even as late as the 
nineties there were only a few of the business groups 
that were looking outside the country for a chance to 
exploit and rob. Among these few were the sugar men. 

The United States has never provided its own sugar 
supply. The sugar business is a profitable one, how- 


ever, and the American business men made up their 
minds that if profits were to be made in sugar they 
might as well have them. 

The fight turned on Hawaii. 

The Hawaiian Islands have a climate well adapted to 
sugar-growing and the soil, a deep volcanic ash over 
lying boulders, is the best sugar-cane soil in the world. 
In Hawaii they raise eight tons of sugar to the acre. 

Hawaii was owned by foreign capitalists among 
whom the Americans were the largest single holders. 

I had an investigation made when I was in Hawaii of 
the books of the interior department, for their law 
required that every sugar corporation should file a re 
port giving the names of the stockholders. All of the 
corporations did not comply with the law, but several 
did comply. I had their reports studied and from them 
it appeared that the holdings in sugar corporations, ar 
ranged by nationality, were: American, $3,225,750; 
British, $1,642,350 ; Hawaiian, $792,000 ; German, 
$458,700; and Portuguese, $1,200, making a total of 
$6,120,000. In short, more than half of the sugar 
plantation values were American owned. 

The estimates of taxable property in the Islands 
showed that the Hawaiians, who numbered together 
39,504 individuals, owned taxable property to the 
amount of $8,101,701, while the Americans, British and 
Germans, 6,768 in number, owned taxable property to 
the amount of $26,701,908. The "foreigners," while 
numbering only one-seventh of the taxpayers, owned 
more than three-quarters of the taxable wealth in the 

Foreign economic interests on the Islands were para 
mount, and it was these interests that fostered the 
Revolution of 1893. I need not go into this matter in 
detail, as I have elaborated on it elsewhere (The Course 
of Empire, Chapter V). Let it suffice to say that the 
United States Minister, resident at Honolulu, entered 
into a conspiracy with a few business men and their 
representatives for the purpose of overthrowing the 


native government, and deposing the reigning queen. 
As a part of this conspiracy, the United States Minister 
used American marines to protect the conspirators 
while they organized a government, which was imme 
diately recognized by the United States Minister. A 
treaty, based on this disgraceful incident, was sent to 
the Senate of the United States for ratification on the 
recommendation of President Harrison, and was re 
ported favorably by the Committee on Foreign Rela 

The report of the Committee on Foreign Relations 
did not tell the facts regarding the overthrowing of the 
Hawaiian Government; neither did the message to the 
President transmitting the treaty give the essential 
facts, and it was with great difficulty that the facts 
were obtained. But the infamy of the whole transac 
tion was finally disclosed and, after a great many 
months of controversy, the treaty failed to command 
the two-thirds vote necessary for its ratification. 

I was the leader of the fight in the Senate against the 
treaty and its ratification. The question excited wide 
spread attention. Most of the great newspapers were 
outspokenly in favor of ratifying the annexation treaty. 
They filled their columns with false headlines on the 
subject, and even resorted to the practice of making 
up press dispatches purported to come from the Islands. 
Despite all their efforts, however, the treaty could not 

There is no longer any dispute over the material facts 
of the Hawaiian Revolution. 

What were the essential facts behind the revolution 
that led the United States to make its first annexation 
of non-continental territory. There is no longer any 
serious dispute concerning them. 

George W. Merrill, who was our Minister to Hawaii, 
wrote Mr. Secretary Elaine, September 7, 1889, as 
follows : 

"It is also noticeable that among the American resi 
dents here there are several who, from personal 


motives, contemplate with satisfaction periodical dis 
quietude in this kingdom, hoping that frequent revo 
lutionary epochs will force the United States Govern 
ment to make this group a part of its territory and to 
absorb into its body politic this heterogeneous popula- 
lation of 80,000, consisting of Chinese, Japanese, Portu 
guese, native Hawaiians, half-castes, and only about 
5,000 of those who may be properly denominated the 
white race. 

"In order to keep affairs in as much turmoil as 
possible, baseless rumors are constantly put in circu 
lation, many of which find publication in other coun 

This was from our minister who was superseded 
shortly afterward by Mr. Stevens. Mr. Stevens was 
appointed minister in October, 1889. Harrison had 
been elected President. One. of the issues of the cam 
paign was free sugar. The McKinley Act became a 
law August 27, 1890. On August 20, 1891, Mr. Stevens 
wrote to Mr. Elaine as follows: 

"The probabilities strongly favor the presumption 
that a United States warship will not be pressingly 
necessary in the two or three immediate months. But 
as early as the first of December, without fail, the 
month preceding the election, and for some time there 
after, there should be a United States vessel here to 
render things secure. . . . There are increasing indi 
cations that the annexation sentiment is growing 
among the business men. The present political situa 
tion is feverish, and I see no prospect of its being per 
manently otherwise until these islands become a part 
of the American Union or a possession of Great Brit 

Here, then, is our minister, accredited to a friendly 
government, contemplating the destruction of that 
government and the annexation of its territory. Fur 
ther on, in his next dispatch, he asked the State De 
partment to keep secret his statement in regard to the 
overthrow of that government; and he says in the 


dispatch that it would be uncomfortable for him if the 
facts were known in Hawaii. 

On November 20, 1892, Stevens again writes : 

"I think it understating the truth to express the 
opinion that the loss to the owners of the sugar planta 
tions and mills, etc., and the consequent depreciation of 
other property by the passage of the McKinley Bill, has 
not been less than $12,000,000, a large portion of this 
loss falling on Americans residing here and in Cali 

"Unless some positive measures of relief be granted, 
the depreciation of sugar property will go on. . . . 

"One of two courses seems to me absolutely neces 
sary to be followed, either bold and vigorous measures 
for annexation, or a "customs union/ and ocean cable 
from the Californian coast to Honolulu, Pearl Harbor 
perpetually ceded to the United States, with an implied, 
but not necessarily stipulated, American protectorate 
over the islands. I believe the former to be the better, 
that which will prove much the more advantageous to 
the islands, and the cheapest and least embarrassing 
in the end for the United States." 

Here, in 1892, two months before the final revolution, 
our minister outlines the reason for it and advises an 
nexation as a remedy for the situation. This state 
ment of Minister Stevens is supplied by ample evidence 
published in the official investigation which President 
Cleveland caused to be made of the whole situation. 

The American Minister had been converted into an 
advocate of the overthrow of the friendly government 
to which he was sent ; and what was done by these con 
spirators, few in number, having vast wealth fortunes 
made absolutely out of the people of the United States 
in the profit upon sugar? The American Minister 
having been secured, the next step was to find an excuse 
for overthrowing the existing government. 

On the 14th of January, 1893, being Saturday, the 
Queen took steps to promulgate a new constitution. Pe 
titions had been received by her signed by two-thirds of 


all of the voters of the island, protesting against the 
Constitution of 1887 and asking that a new one be pro 
mulgated. The Constitution of 1887 deprived a large 
per cent of her people of the right to vote for members 
of the Senate or any voice in the government. The 
Constitution left the control of the country in the 
hands of the foreign business men and the people re 
sented it. 

Immediately on the proposition being made to adopt 
a new Constitution, nine business men had a meeting 
in Smith s office. Smith was a lawyer in Honolulu. 
Later, he became an attorney-general of the so-called 
republic. There they began to plan and plot for the 
overthrow of the Queen. But, finding that there was 
opposition to her movement, the Queen abandoned the 
idea of issuing a new Constitution and, on Monday, 
January 16, 1893, she issued a statement to that effect. 

On Saturday, the 14th, a committee of safety com 
posed of thirteen members had been organized at W. V. 
Smith s office. At this meeting the feeling was ex 
pressed that this was a good time to get rid of the old 
regime and provide for annexation to the United States. 
There was no fear of disorder, no thought that life and 
property were in danger. 

Mr. Smith stated that the committee at his office 
debated whether they would ask the United States to 
establish a protectorate. They concluded that as the 
Queen had an armed force it was best to appoint a com 
mittee to see the United States Minister, and ascertain 
what he would do. 

After the meeting, Smith went to see the American 
Minister and arranged with him as to what should be 
done if Smith and his conspirators were arrested. He 
secured the required assurances and the call for troops 
was issued. 

These conspirators then held a public meeting and 
Thurston made some lurid remarks talked about 
freedom, etc., and about liberty and tyrannical gov 
ernment and after his fiery speech they passed the 


tamest sort of resolutions embodying their protest 
against the new Constitution, but said not a word about 
overthrowing the government or establishing a new 

At every step in the proceeding great care was taken 
to consult the American Minister and to know just 
what he should do in case the conspirators were ar 
rested. There was a great sense of fear and appre 
hension of danger on the part of these thirteen men 
only. All honest citizens feit safe and secure in life 
and property. 

Troops were landed from the United States gunboat 
in the harbor, and distributed, not for the purpose of 
protecting Americans or American property, but to 
guard the government building and show the Queen 
that they were assisting the revolutionists. This was 
Monday evening. On Tuesday morning the Committee 
of Thirteen met again and signed the proclamation de 
claring the establishment of a new government, and 
about two o clock started, in two parties on different 
streets, to go to the government buildings, now guarded 
by United States troops, to read the proclamation, ac 
cording to a previously arranged plan with our min 

Without a single armed man they proceeded to the 
government building and, in front of it, within seventy- 
five yards of the 150 marines landed from the United 
States vessel, they proceeded to read the proclamation 
declaring that they w r ere the government. They, how 
ever, took the precaution to go in two parties, one party 
going up one street and the other party another street, 
so as not to attract attention. They took the precau 
tion to send one of their number up to see if there were 
any armed men likely to interfere. 

The proclamation having been read at the govern 
ment building, guarded by United States troops, the 
United States Minister proceeded at once to recognize 
the new government. They had not an armed man 
they had proceeded to the government building where 


there were clerks and officers of the Hawaiian Govern 
ment, with not even a policeman present. They stood 
up in front of that building within seventy-five yards 
of the Gatling guns of the marines from an American 
battleship, and read a paper declaring that they were 
the government. Three-quarters of a mile away the 
Queen had five hundred men under arms and, without 
waiting, the moment they read the proclamation our 
minister recognized these thirteen men as the govern 
ment of Hawaii without any armed forces whatever, 
knowing that he had violated international law and 
violated the precedents followed by all civilized nations, 
and he undertook to falsify the facts. 

He claimed that he recognized the government after 
the Queen had surrendered after the old government 
had given up after she had abdicated and said that 
she would submit her case to Washington. An investi 
gation of the facts proved that this statement is false. 

After the recognition of this so-called government, 
before the surrender of the Queen or the armed forces 
which she had, a delegation was sent to her and she 
surrendered to the armed forces of the United States, 
saying : 

"I yield to the superior force of the United States of 
America, whose minister plenipotentiary, His Excel 
lency John L. Stevens, has caused the United States 
troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he 
would support the said provisional government. " 

To avoid collision and bloodshed, she submitted the 
question to the Government at Washington, surrender 
ing to the armed forces of the United States ; surren 
dering after Stevens had recognized the so-called 
government; surrendering because she was told that 
the Government of the United States, whose people she 
had always been taught to reverence and respect, would 
do justice and restore her to the throne, and they cited 
a precedent in Hawaiian history as a justification for 
this claim: 

"On the 10th of February, 1843-, the British frigate 


Carrysfort, commanded by Lord George Paulet, ar 
rived at Honolulu and showed displeasure by withhold 
ing the usual salutes. 

"He proceeded at once to take the King prisoner and 
make such demands upon him that he surrendered his 
crown on condition that the question would be sub 
mitted to the British Government." This History of 
the Hawaiian People says: 

"Under the circumstances the King resolved to bear 
it no longer. I will not die piecemeal, said he; they 
may cut off my head at once. Let them take what they 
please; I will give no more/ 

"Dr. Judd (he was an American) advised him to 
forestall the intended seizure of the islands by a tempo 
rary cession to Lord Paulet, pending an appeal to the 
British Government. The event proved the wisdom of 
this advice. 

"On the next day the subject was discussed by the 
King and his council, and preliminaries were arranged 
with Lord Paulet for the cession. On the morning of 
the 25th the King and premier signed a provisional 
cession of the islands to Lord George Paulet, subject 
to the decision of the British Government after the 
receipt of full information from both parties/ 

"At 3 o clock p. m., February 25th, the King, stand 
ing on the ramparts of the fort, read a brief and elo 
quent address to his people." 

Then they submitted the question to Great Britain, 
and the English Government promptly restored the 
King to his throne, refusing to accept an usurpation of 
that sort. So, in this case, the Queen, having in mind 
this historic incident, said: 

"I, Liliuokalani, by the grace of God and under the 
Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do here 
by solemnly protest against any and all acts done 
against myself and constitutional Government of the 
Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have 
established a provisional government of and for this 


"That I yield to the superior force of the United 
States of America, whose minister plenipotentiary, His 
Excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States 
troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he 
would support the said provisional government. 

"Now, to avoid collision of armed forces and perhaps 
the loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by 
said force, yield my authority until such time as the 
Government of the United States shall, upon the facts 
being presented to it, undo the actions of its representa 
tives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as 
the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands." 

When Kamehameha, in 1843, surrendered and ceded 
the islands to the British admiral, because he could not 
resist the force of an armed ship of war, the English 
Government promptly repudiated the act and restored 
him to the throne; and when Queen Liliuokalani, de 
prived of her authority by the armed forces of the 
United States, proposed to submit the question to this 
Government, she had good reason to suppose that the 
great republic would preserve its honor and dignity 
among the nations of the world and restore her to the 
throne. Yet, in the face of these facts, the treaty made 
with this revolutionary government of business men 
was passed by the Congress of the United States and 
this country took title to Hawaii against the will of the 
majority of the people in that country. 

On January 31st, thirteen days after the revolution, 
President Dole wrote Mr. Stevens that his government 
could not maintain itself, and asked for the protection 
of the United States troops. Stevens complied, and our 
flag was put up, over the public buildings, and re 
mained up until April 1, 1893, when Mr. Blount ordered 
it taken down. If there was a government that had 
been able to create and establish itself and to main 
tain itself with an armed force, why was it that thir 
teen days afterwards they begged of Mr. Stevens, 
admitting their impotency to maintain their govern 
ment, to again land the troops of the United States 


and put the United States flag upon the buildings? 
This was done on the 31st of January, and the flag 
remained there sixty days. The flag went up in dis 
honor. When it was raised under such circumstances 
it was a disgrace to the Republic. 

During the sixty days while our flag remained upon 
this building, the provisional government brought in 
foreign mercenaries from San Francisco, collected an 
armed force, gathered up every gun upon the islands, 
passed the strictest penal laws against the importation 
of guns, and made it a criminal and penal offense to 
have a gun. The so-called republic was surrounded by 
armed men. Back and forth in front of the public 
offices marched men with Winchester rifles. 

The new government proceeded rapidly to enact laws. 
It consisted, not of a legislative body, but of nineteen 
men, self-constituted, supported by our armed forces. 
They provided that no one should be eligible to be a 
senator, a representative or a juror until he should 
have subscribed to the following oath or affirmation : 

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm), in the presence of 
Almighty God, that I will support the constitution, 
laws and government of the Republic of Hawaii; and 
will not, either directly or indirectly, encourage or as 
sist in the restoration or establishment of a monarchial 
form of government in the Hawaiian Islands." 

On the 31st an act concerning seditious offenses was 
published. This law made it an offense to speak, write 
or print anything which might bring hatred or con 
tempt against the government. On the same day was 
published a law prohibiting the importation of firearms 
and ammunition without first obtaining the permission 
of the government. On the same day an act relating to 
contempts became law : "Any person who shall publish 
any false report of the proceedings of said council, or 
insulting comment upon the same," etc., was liable to 
imprisonment for thirty days. 

What did this revolutionary government do? It set 
up a republic ! For nearly a year after the government 


was created they had no constitution. But after a year 
the nineteen concluded to organize the Republic of Ha 
waii. Such a republic was never known to history 
before. An election was called for a constitutional con 
vention. The call provided that the people who would 
take an oath to support their government might elect 
eighteen delegates to the constitutional convention. The 
revolutionists, nineteen of them, constituted themselves 
members of the convention without any election, mak 
ing the election of delegates absolutely a farce. What 
kind of a constitution did they adopt? Their constitu 
tion provided for an oligarchy. It provided that the 
government should consist of Mr. Dole as president 
he was named in the constitution who was to hold 
office until the year 1900, a senate of fifteen members 
and a house of representatives of fifteen members, 
and the senate and house sitting together were to elect 
Mr. Dole s successor president after the year 1900, but 
no successor was to be elected unless he received a ma 
jority of the senate; and, if no successor was elected, 
Dole continued to hold the office. 

Under this constitution no person could vote for a 
senator unless he was worth $3,000 in personal prop 
erty or $1,500 in real estate, according to the last as 
sessment for taxation, or unless he had an income of 
$600 a year. 

These provisions shut out everybody in the Hawaiian 
Islands from the right of suffrage except the sugar 
planters and their fellow business and professional 
men. Such a qualification would have disfranchised 
ninety per cent of the voters of the United States. 

The constitution created a council of state, five of 
whom were to be selected by the president, five by the 
senate and five by the house of representatives; and 
this very constitution provided that a majority of the 
council could do business. Then it provided that they 
could make laws and appropriations when the legisla 
ture was not in session, and that their laws and their 


acts and their appropriations should hold good until 
the last day of the session of the legislature. 

They put into the constitution a provision for a 
union, commercial or political, with the United States. 
Did that come from the people? They had no voice in 
it. The constitution was not endorsed by the people or 
.submitted to the people. After this self-constituted 
convention had adopted its constitution, it declared the 
document the constitution of the Republic of Hawaii, 
and never submitted it to a vote at all. And yet it was 
from this gang of sugar-raising conspirators that we 
took the islands. 

The annexation of Hawaii was the first big victory 
won by the business interests in their campaign to 
plunder outside of the United States. It was the prece 
dent that they needed the precedent that made easy 
the annexation of Porto Rico, the Platt Amendment to 
the Cuban Treaty, the conquest of the Philippines and 
the other imperialistic infamies that have sullied tho 
good name of the United States during the past twenty 

When I entered this fight against the annexation o :* 
Hawaii, I had a vague impression of the power tha : 
could be exerted by big business. The fight lasted five, 
years, and when it was ended, I had a clear, ful 
knowledge of the methods and the strength of the 
American plutocracy. I entered the fight, knowing 
that it would be a hard one. I left it, wondering that 
we had been able to hold off the interests for as many 
as five years. 



The Senate debates over the annexation of Hawaii 
had roused millions of Americans to the imperial men 
ace that was threatening the life of the Republic. 
Between 1893, when the revolution occurred in Hawaii, 
and 1898, when the annexation of the islands was fin 
ally approved under the stress of the war frenzy that 
possessed the country, I carried on almost a continual 
fight against the policy of those who were advocating 
annexation. The friends of the treaty were not able, 
during those five years, to secure anything like the 
necessary two-thirds of the Senate, and the fight 
against annexation might have been won but for the 
Spanish-American War with its tidal wave of patri 
otic frenzy. 

It was on July 7, 1898, after the war had been in 
progress for more than two months, and after the 
public attention had been turned from the problems of 
imperialism to the celebration of victory, that Hawaii 
was annexed, and even then the imperialists still lacked 
their two-thirds of the Senators, so that it was neces 
sary to provide for annexation by a joint resolution 
which required only a majority of both Houses of Con 

With the end of the war there was a swing back 
toward sanity and a vigorous protest rose from all 
parts of the country. 

Millions of the plain people were eager to stem the 
tide of imperialism that was running so strongly in 
favor of the big business interests and their policies. 

As one means of checking imperialism an Anti- 
Imperialist League was formed about 1899. The league 
had a large popular membership about half a million, 
I believe held mass meetings and conferences in all 
parts of the country adopted a platform that de 
nounced the imperialism of the McKinley administra 
tion, and pledged itself to enter politics and fight the 


issue through to a finish in every voting precinct in 
the United States. 

Pursuant to this program, a conference was called 
at the Plaza Hotel in New York, for the 6th of Janu 
ary, 1900. The national elections were due in Novem 
ber of the same year ; it seemed certain that McKinley 
would seek a second presidential term on his record 
as an advocate of annexation and conquest; there was 
therefore, an excellent chance to make a clear issue 
and to organize a large enough sentiment within the 
ranks of both old parties to administer a severe rebuke 
to the business interests that were behind the Re 
publican party and its imperial policies. 

The meeting of January 6th turned out to be an 
eventful one. Andrew Carnegie was present, as well 
as Carl Schurz, ex-Senator Henderson, Brisbane Wal 
ker, Gamaliel Bradford, Edward Burrett Smith, Prof. 
Franklin H. Giddings, and about ten others. All were 
were prominent men, and all were radically opposed 
to any movement that looked towards the holding of 
colonies against the will of the inhabitants and in vio 
lation of the principles enunciated in the Constitution 
and the Declaration of Independence. I was the only 
Senator or member of the House present at this meet 

We had our meals brought to us, and talked all day. 
Finally we decided that we would organize a third 
political party. 

It was agreed by Carnegie and Schurz and Hender 
son and by Prof. Giddings that the two old political 
parties Democratic and Republican were just alike; 
that as parties they were simply the servants of the 
great combinations and corporations who were the real 
rulers of the country; that it was foolish to depend 
upon either of them to oppose a policy which was being 
pushed by their financial backers and, therefore, it 
was decided to start a third party and to organize it 
in every county in the United States. 


Mr. Carnegie, in a vigorous speech, urged the neces 
sity of a new political party for the purpose of oppos 
ing the imperial policy of both of the old parties, and 
said that he would give as much money, dollar for dol 
lar, as all the rest of us could raise toward promoting 
the campaign. As a pledge of good faith, he subscribed 
twenty-five thousand dollars on the spot. 

The others present subscribed a like amount, 
elected Edward Burrett Smith, of Chicago, chairman 
of the political organization which they were forming, 
and authorized him, in consultation with the commit 
tee which had been appointed, to take charge of the 
campaign, to secure an organization in every county 
in the United States, and to have national committee- 
men from every state. 

Carnegie paid in $15,000 of the $25,000 he had sub 
scribed. The others paid in the whole of their sub 
scription ($25,000) and active work was begun within 
a month. Shortly after the New York meeting Car 
negie came to my house in Washington, talked about 
the whole matter with me, and expressed great earnest 
ness and anxiety about the success of the movement. 
I had every reason to believe that Carnegie meant to 
stand by the movement, and I felt convinced that his 
financial position and influence would enable us to raise 
a sufficient amount of money to carry on an effective 
campaign against McKinley and his imperialist 

I had known Andrew Carnegie very well for many 
years. I first became intimately acquainted with him 
during the contest in the Senate over the annexation 
of the Hawaiian Islands. I led the opposition to the 
annexation of those islands chiefly because the annex 
ation would mean that we were starting upon a colonial 
system, acquiring a territory inhabited by a people not 
suited to our form of government, and that such a 
move would be the first step in the course of empire. 
Carnegie was of the same view, and, during the con- 


test, often came to my house in Washington and dis 
cussed the question with me. 

At the same time, I was investigating the question 
of the distribution of wealth in the United States, and 
I discussed the matter with him and, finally, made a 
speech in the Senate on that question. Carnegie agreed 
with me that the concentration of wealth in a few 
hands and the move for imperialism were both serious 
menaces to the American people and their liberties. 
Carnegie was not then so enormously rich as he after 
wards became. 

Carnegie was a rich man even in 1900, but he had 
liberal views. I had known him for years, and had 
known during all of that time that he was vigorously 
opposed to imperialism. His support of the anti-impe 
rialist movement, therefore, seemed to represent a 
very substantial part of the foundation upon which the 
movement was built. 

The story of our plans was soon noised abroad, and 
it became known that an effort was being made to 
organize a third political party with the backing of 
Andrew Carnegie. About the middle of February I 
received a letter from Mr. Smith urging me to come 
to New York. I went at once, and was told by Mr. 
Smith that Carnegie had refused to pay in any more 
money after his first fifteen thousand dollars, and that 
he had refused to have anything to do with the mem 
bers of the committee, although they had made re 
peated efforts to see him and to get into communica 
tion with him. In view of my acquaintance with 
Carnegie, Mr. Smith thought that I was the best per 
son to see him and ascertain why he had abandoned 
the project about which he had been so enthusiastic 
only a month before. 

I called upon Mr. Carnegie, but he refused to see 
me. I then went down to Wall Street to see some 
friends and acquaintances who were interested in the 
business side of national affairs, and to inquire why 


Carnegie had abandoned his effort to organize a third 
party, and had gone back on the whole anti-imperialist 
position of which he was an acknowledged advocate. I 
was not long in discovering the real difficulty. 

The steel trust had been talked about and planned 
by the great capitalistic combinations of this country, 
and Carnegie was one of the parties to the negotiations. 
The matter had gone so far that the following proposi 
tions were agreed upon: First, they were to organize 
a corporation with one billion dollars of stock, none of 
which was to be paid for; second, they were to issue 
four hundred million dollars of bonds to pay for the 
properties and furnish working capital. Carnegie was 
to receive one hundred and sixty millions of this four 
hundred millions of bonds and, in addition, a like 
amount of the stock, and he was, of course, very 
anxious to consummate this deal which was of enor 
mous financial advantage to him. 

No sooner was it noised abroad that Carnegie was 
actively engaged in organizing a third political party, 
which would oppose McKinley and his imperialist pol 
icy, than he was waited on by a committee, with the 
ultimatum that they would go no further with the 
organization of the steel trust unless he abandoned his 
third party activities and stopped his contributions 
towards the movement. The members of the commit 
tee told him that it was absolutely necessary that they 
should have a protective tariff in order to justify the 
organization of the steel trust; that in order to have a 
tariff satisfactory to them, McKinley must be elected ; 
that the organization of a third party would jeopardize 
his election, and, consequently, the tariff, and as they 
were going to capitalize the tariff by the issue of stock 
for which they paid nothing, they would have nothing 
further to do with the steel trust if Carnegie insisted 
upon pursuing the political course he had outlined. 

The issue was a very clear one political principles 
on one side and immense financial profits on the other. 


After weighing the matter, Carnegie abandoned the 
whole third party movement and went in for the elec 
tion of McKinley. 

Subsequently, the steel trust organization was com 
pleted and Carnegie received his quota of the bonds 
and stock of the combination. He then retired from 
active business and began to build monuments to him 
self all over the world. 

The anti-imperialist movement, which had depended 
so largely upon Carnegie s support, worked on for a 
time, hampered by a shortage of funds and a lack of 
effective interest in influential quarters. Its efforts 
were virtually nullified by Carnegie s withdrawal and 
the lukewarm support from other sources. The Repub 
licans won the election. The steel trust secured the 
tariff it needed. The combination was perfected. The 
imperial policy of the preceding four years was con 
firmed by the election, and the hopes of those who had 
worked so loyally against the change of national policy 
were destroyed. 

Undoubtedly we made a mistake to pin so much faith 
on the actions of one man particularly in view of his 
business connections. On the other hand, his friend 
ship, his determination and his apparent sincerity gave 
us every reason to believe that he could be relied upon 
to see the movement through. 

We had made the issue in Congress and out. We 
had set the Declaration of Independence against the 
conquest of the Philippines and the Constitution 
against the Hawaiian Treaty. We had placed the 
rights of man against the interests of the plutocarcy. 
We had done everything that human ingenuity and 
energy and foresight could do to make our fight effec 
tive, and we had lost out. McKinley, the steel trust, 
big business and imperialism had won. 



The annexation of Hawaii and the Spanish Treaty, 
which provided for the acquisition by the United States 
of Porto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, started this 
country definitely on the course of empire. From that 
point the years 1898 and 1899 we were committed 
to an imperial policy. 

"Imperial policy" is a phrase with a pleasant sound 
and a dismal echo dismal for the rights of man and 
women. The moment we adopted an imperial policy 
we committed ourselves to certain lines of national 
conduct that are as far from the principles of the 
Declaration of Independence as the east is from the 
west. In our new possessions it was necessary: 

First, to beat into submission any of the native pop 
ulation which displays a spirit of independence ; 

Second, to extend the imperial boundaries in order 
to have more opportunity for exploitation ; 

Third, to establish measures that will insure the ef 
fective exploitation of the native population. 

Our first imperial duty that of beating the native 
population into submission was presented only in the 
Philippines. The Cubans were nominally self-govern 
ing; the inhabitants of Porto Rico had welcomed the 
Americans as saviors. , 

The Filipinos had followed the same course at first, 
but, when they found that they were not to be free, they 
turned about and fought as stubbornly for their inde 
pendence of American rule as they had fought during 
the preceding century for their independence of Span 
ish rule. It was the strength of the American army, 
not the justice of the American cause, that reduced the 
Filipinos to submission. 

Perhaps nowhere in American history is there a rec 
ord so black as that which describes our dealings with 
the Filipinos. Before the seizure of the islands by 
Admiral Dewey, McKinley had taken a high moral 
stand on the subject of forcible annexation. In his 


message to Congress (April 11, 1898) he had said: "I 
speak not of forcible annexation, for that cannot be 
thought of. That, by our code of morals, would be 
criminal aggression." So it would, but we practiced it 
toward the Filipinos with the same zest that the Brit 
ish have displayed in India or the Japanese in Korea. 

When we decided to attack Spain, when Dewey was 
ordered to sail from Hongkong and to destroy the 
Spanish fleet, a rebellion was going on in the Philip 
pine Islands. The inhabitants of those islands were 
trying to throw off the Spanish yoke. Knowing that at 
Singapore there was a man, the most capable among 
the Filipinos, who had led a former revolt, our officers 
in the East induced this man to go back to Manila and 
organize the insurgent forces. Aguinaldo arrived on 
the 17th day of May, 1898. He immediately organized 
the insurgent forces. He purchased arms in Hong 
kong. Admiral Dewey furnished him with arms taken 
from the Spanish forces, and he attacked the Spanish 
garrisons all over the province of Cavite and secured 
arms from his prisoners. He pursued this course dur 
ing the summer of 1898, until he had captured the 
entire island of Luzon except two Spanish garrisons 
very small ones and before winter he captured those. 
Dewey, in his report, says his progress was wonderful. 
He took 9,000 prisoners. After having captured the 
entire island, he set up a government, which was a 
poaceful government, a government suitable to those 
people, a government which protected life and property 
throughout the entire area of that country. He also 
captured the Southern Islands, the Island of Panay, of 
Cebu, and Negros, and organized governments there. 

He assembled an army of 30,000 men and surrounded 
Manila. His army was intrenched. He invested the 
city on the land side while our navy blockaded the port 
on the ocean side. We acted in absolute concert with 
each other, consulted together, and, when Manila was 
finally taken, our troops landed, asking the insurgents 


to give up about a quarter of a mile of their trenches. 
They marched out and allowed our troops to occupy a 
portion of their works. They believed that they were 
to act in concert with us in the attack upon Manila. 
When the attack was ordered their troops marched 
into the city along with ours. They took the principal 
suburb of Manila. We took and occupied the walled 
city. When they came to the walled city, which con 
tained less than one-fifth of the population of the city 
of Manila, they found our bayonets turned against 
them. They were told that they could not enter. They 
had lost thousands of lives in their contest with Spain ; 
the} 7 were in possession of that entire country, and yet, 
although in the assault upon the city they had lost 
more men than we did, they were denied admittance to 
the city, and they yielded and occupied the suburbs for 
some time. 

Finally, we requested that they retire from the sub 
urbs and they retired. Aguinaldo asked that he might 
be permitted to retire slowly, as it was difficult to 
govern his people and convince them that it was right 
that they should surrender possession of territory 
which they had conquered and for which many of their 
comrades had laid down their lives. He also asked 
that, in case we made a treaty with Spain, the territory 
which he had conquered should be restored to him ; and 
this we refused. So we did not conquer the islands 
from Spain, for Spain had been conquered and driven 
out by the government of Aguinaldo. We had simply 
helped to take the city of Manila. Therefore, we took 
no title by conquest from Spain, for, at the time of 
making the treaty with Spain, we had not conquered 
any territory from her. 

We did not acquire title by purchase, because title 
by purchase required delivery of possession and, as 
Spain was not in possession, she could not and did not 
deliver the islands to us. By what right are we there ? 
By no right in morals of law; by no right that can be 
defended before God or man. We are there as eonquer- 


ors; we are there as armed banditti that would enter 
your premises in daytime, and we have no more right 
to be there than the bandit has to enter and despoil 
your home. 

If our title is by conquest, then it is as yet incom 
plete. If our title is by conquest, we did not acquire 
it from Spain, and it is nearly two years since the war 
with Spain has ceased, and yet the conquest is in prog 

In October Aguinaldo was again asked to give up 
more territory. He was again asked to retire his troops 
beyond not only the city of Manila, but the adjoining 
towns. Then he called the attention of General Otis 
to the fact that the towns which Otis desired him to 
surrender were not a part of Manila you will find it 
on pages 20 and 21 of General Otis report. General 
Otis said, "You are right; the territory which I now 
demand I cannot find as embraced in the city of Manila 
or its suburbs, but," he said, "that makes no difference ; 
I insist on the possession of the territory anyway/ So 
our lines were pushed out constantly, creating irrita 
tion and bad feeling. 

Finally Dewey seized the ships of the Filipinos in 
the harbor. Was not that an act of war? Why talk 
longer about who commenced the war in the Philip 
pines, when in October we seized the vessels of our 
allies and they were vessels of war dismissed the 
men who manned them, took down the Filipino flag, and 
removed it from the sea? 

On the 24th of November, Otis again wrote to Agui 
naldo, saying that he must retire beyond the village 
of Santa Mesa, and that if he did not he would attack 
him. On the 21st of December the President sent a 
proclamation to be published in the Philippines, telling 
the inhabitants that the United States has assumed 
sovereignty over the islands a proclamation which 
was a clear declaration of war a declaration that we 
would extend our military control, then existing in 


the city of Manila, throughout the entire area of the 

This proclamation was published in the Philippines 
on the 4th of January, 1899. We seized their ships in 
October; we drove them beyond the territorial limits 
of the city of Manila the only country we had occu 
pied or had any right to occupy under the protocol with 
Spain; we, on the 4th day of February, attacked their 
forces and fired the first and second shots, and killed 
three of their people. After that, on the 5th day of 
February, the day after hostilities were inaugurated, 
Aguinaldo asked to have hostilities cease, and said that 
he had no notion of making an attack on our people 
and had not done so. The reply was that fighting hav 
ing once commenced, it should go on to the grim end. 

Under these circumstances, we are precluded from 
taking any other position than that we betrayed and 
attacked an ally; that we conquered and reduced to 
subjection an unwilling people; that because we are 
mighty and because our army is strong enough to de 
stroy the independence of an ally, we have deliberately 
taken possession of territory that was desired by our 
big business men for their enrichment. 

By our "code of morals" our very presence in the 
Philippines, after the natives had established their own 
government, was an offense. By the same code, our 
greatest crime in the Philippines was the denial by the 
Washington administration, backed by the army and 
navy, of the right of self-government. The Filipinos 
not only desired self-government, but they actually 
established it before the American army began the 
conquest of the islands. 

One of Lincoln s most famous remarks is as follows : 

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not 
for themselves ; and under the rule of a just God cannot 
long retain it." 

I believe that is true. I believe the reflex action upon 
our own people of the conquest of other peoples and 
their government, against their will, has undermined 


the free institutions of this country, and has already 
resulted in the destruction of the republic. 

President McKinley urged the conquest of the Philip 
pines because he said they were not fit for self-govern 
ment. I believe that there are no people fit for any 
other form of government. Governments are insti 
tuted, not bestowed, and therefore derive their just 
powers from the consent of the governed. 

Any nation of people is capable of maintaining as 
good a government as they are entitled to have. 
When people can maintain a better government 
they will evolve it. It is impossible to give them 
a better government than they can maintain for 
themselves. A form of government will be as gooc 
as the average of the individuals composing the 
community are willing to have. The American In 
dians maintained a government and, for them, 
better one than we have been able to bestow upon them 
The Esquimeaux in the arctic region maintain a gov 
ernment of their own suited to their condition and their 
circumstances, and it is a better government than any 
body else can give them. Would their condition be im 
proved by sending them foreign governors and a for 
eign council to enact laws and direct their course and 
method in life and to guide them in their civic and civil 
affairs? So it is with every other people the world 
around. There is nothing in the history of the colonies 
of the so-called Christian nations of the world to en 
courage the idea that we can give to this people a 
better government than they can maintain by them 

The old doctrine of the divine right of kings, of the 
hereditary right to rule, is a doctrine that we Ameri 
cans disputed and controverted when we established 
our government, and when we announced the doctrine 
of the Declaration of Independence. So proud have 
we been of that discovery that each year we have cele 
brated the birth into the world of a new theory, a new 
doctrine with regard to governments ; and four hundred 


constitutions have been framed after ours. So power 
ful has been our example throughout the world that 
nation after nation, struggling to be free, has adopted 
our form of government. 

No nation, no people, in all time and in all history 
ever impressed such a powerful influence upon the 
human race as this republic, and for this reason alone. 
Empires have been established; since history began a 
trail of blood has been drawn across the world, and a 
vast aggregation of people has been brought under the 
rule of an emperor or monarch, but no people in the 
history of the world has ever produced such a powerful 
effect for good upon the human race as this great re 
public, and simply because of the doctrine laid down by 
our forefathers in the Declaration of Independence. 

Is it an old doctrine that all governments derive their 
just powers from the consent of the governed? Some 
have said that it was a nursey rhyme sung around the 
cradle of the republic. The doctrine is new. It was 
announced little more than a century ago, a day in the 
birth and life of nations, and yet this great republic 
deliberately abandoned it for the old doctrine and the 
old theory and the old idea of selfishness. 

Lincoln, in his speech at Springfield on June 26, 1857, 
thus defined his notions of the Declaration of Inde 
pendence : 

"In those days our Declaration of Independence was 
held sacred by all and thought to include all ; but now, 
to aid in making the bondage of the negro universal 
and eternal, it is assailed and sneered at, and construed, 
and hawked at, and torn, till, if its framers could rise 
from their graves, they could not at all recognize it. 
All the powers of earth seem rapidly combining against 
him, mammon is after him, abition follows, philoso 
phy follows, and the theology is fast joining the 
cry. . . . 

"I think the authors of that notable instrument in 
tended to include all men; they did not mean to say 
all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral develop- 


ment or social capacity. They defined with tolerable 
distinctness in what respects they did consider all men 
created equal equal with "certain inalienable rights, 
among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happi 
ness." This they said, and this they meant. They did 
not mean to assert the obvious untruth that all wer 3 
actually then enjoying that equality, not yet that they 
were about to confer it immediately upon them. In 
fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. The;/ 
meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforce 
ment of it might follow as fast as circumstances should 

"They meant to set up a standard maxim for free 
society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by 
all, constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and, 
even though never perfectly attained, constantly ap 
proximated, and thereby constantly spreading and 
deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness 
and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere. 
The assertion that "all men are created equal" was of no 
practical use in effecting our separation from Grea: 
Britain, and it was placed in the Declaration not for 
that, but for future use. Its authors meant it to be as, 
thank God, it now is proving itself, a stumbling block to 
all those who, in after times, might seek to turn a free 
people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They 
knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and 
they meant that when such should reappear in this fair 
land and commence their vocation they should find left 
for them at least one hard nut to crack." 

It seems to me that Lincoln, with his prophetic 
vision, must have foreseen this day when prosperity, 
breeding tyrants, should undertake to declare that the 
Declaration of Independence no longer applies to any 
body but the people whom we decide are capable of 

The holding of tropical countries, the conquest of 
unwilling people, their retention in subjugation by a 
standing army, means of necessity not a republic where 


all the people must be consulted, but a despotism where 
the will of one man can march armies, declare war and 
act with great rapidity. A republic is naturally slow in 
action, because the people must be considered and must 
be consulted. 

We took on many of the semblances of monarchy and 
of imperialism during the McKinley administration 
concealment of facts from the people, denial of news 
and information, no knowledge of what is going on, no 
announcement of policy and purpose; and the excuse 
for it all was that if we should allow the people to know 
the facts there was danger of creating disapproval of 
the course of our monarch, and if the enemy should 
secure these facts it would be of some assistance to 
them. This is necessary in a monarchy. Press censor 
ship too is a necessary adjunct of imperialism one of 
the things our forefathers would not have tolerated for 
a day. And yet our people are becoming so numb that 
they are willing to accept it, and even criticize men who 

We annexed the Philippines forcibly. That, accor 
ding to the principles laid down in the Declaration of 
Independence, is criminal aggression. We departed 
from the foundation principles of this country ; violated 
its most sacred obligations to the world, and pursued 
the same brutal, unjustified policy that Great Britain 
has pursued wherever her conquering armies have 
mowed down naked savages with machine guns. 



The story of our criminal aggression in the Philip 
pines makes bad reading for the liberty-loving Ameri 
can, but it is not the only shameful page in American 
imperial history far from it. The United States has 
been following the course of empire for many a year. 
Since the days when the white man first came into con 
tact with the American Indians, the English-speaking 
people of North America, after the example of their 
cousins across the water, have been robbing weaker 
nations of their property and calling it civilization. 

Our first aggressive war after the Revolution, which 
made us a nation, was the war in 1846 with Mexico. 
We invaded Mexico without any provocation and stole 
from Mexico half her territory and annexed it to the 
United States. General Grant, in his Memoirs, writes : 

"The occupation and annexation of Texas were, from 
the inception of the movement to its final culmination, 
to acquire territory out of which slave states might be 
formed for the American slave-holders. Even if the 
annexation of Texas could be justified, the manner in 
which the subsequent war was forced upon Mexico 
could not." (Vol. 1, p. 33.) 

At another point Grant holds that "the war was one 
of conquest in the interest of an institution." (Vol. 1, 
p. 115.) Again he states: "It was an instance of a re 
public following the bad example of European monar 
chies in not considering justice in their desire to ac 
quire additional territory." (Vol. 1, p. 32.) These are 
the sentiments of a man who was an officer in the 
American army that conquered Mexico and who later 
distinguished himself in the Civil War. 

Abraham Lincoln, in the House of Representatives, 
voted against and denounced the war with Mexico as a 
great wrong. (See his speech in the House of Repre 
sentatives, January 12, 1848.) Later in the same year, 
in a letter to J. M. Peck, Washington, May 21, 1848 


(Complete Works, N. Y. Century Company, 1894, Vol. 
1, pp. 120-122), he writes: 

"It is a fact that the United States army, in march 
ing to the Rio Grande, marched into a peaceful Mexican 
settlement, and frightened the inhabitants away from 
their homes and their growing crops. It is a fact that 
Fort Brown, opposite Matamoras, was built by that 
army within a Mexican cotton field. ... It is a fact 
that when the Mexicans captured Captain Thornton 
and his command they captured them within another 
Mexican cotton field." 

We went into Mexico because we had taken a fancy 
to some of Mexico s territory. After a war that lasted 
two years we helped ourselves to nearly nine hundred 
thousand square miles of land. That was the first great 
military triumph of the American imperialists. 

Our next performance was the annexation of the 
Hawaiian Islands, and this was closely followed by the 
conquest of the Philippines. This robbery did not inure 
to the benefit of the laboring people of the United 
States, but exclusively to the advantage of the exploit 
ing speculators and plunderers. 

The Mexican War occurred more than seventy years 
ago. Between that time and the Spanish War exactly 
fifty years elapsed without a single act of aggression or 
a single war of conquest waged by the United States. 
Those were the years during which the slave oligarchy 
of the South was replaced by the power of an exploiting 
plutocracy of the North the years that saw the rise to 
power of a new ruling class in the United States. The 
new rulers were busy with their internal affairs at first. 
By the time of the Spanish-American War, however, 
they had found their stride and they have been length 
ening it ever since. 

We had scarcely reduced the Philippines to subjec 
tion when the Roosevelt administration became in 
volved in the taking of Panama, one of the most infa 
mous episodes that ever disgraced American history. 

The Republic of Colombia is situated on the north 


coast of South America and embraced the whole of the 
Isthmus of Panama. It has a government modeled 
after that of the United States, and is composed of 
several independent states having governors and legis 
lative bodies of their own. The Isthmus of Panama 
was the State of Panama, one of the states composing 
this Republic of Colombia. 

In 1903, while Roosevelt was President, he negotiated 
with the French company that held the franchise for 
the purchase of the then uncompleted canal across the 
Isthmus and approached the Republic of Colombia with 
an offer of ten million dollars if they would cede to the 
United States a strip ten miles wide across the Isthmus. 
The cession was to grant sovereign rights and thus give 
the United States exclusive control over the Canal. At 
the same time this cession would cut the State of Pan 
ama in two. Colombia was afraid to deal with us for 
fear that we, having obtained a foothold at Panama, 
might take the whole country. She therefore declined 
to sell the Canal Zone. 

Roosevelt thereupon sent out navy and our marines 
to Colon, which is the port on the Gulf side of the 
Isthmus of Panama, and secretly notified the govern 
ment of the State of Panama that, if they would set up 
a republic and revolt against the Republic of Colombia, 
he would give them the ten millions of dollars for the 
canal strip, and would also see that Colombia did not 
send any troops to suppress their rebellion. The Gov 
ernor of Panama agreed to this arrangement, and, at 
the proper time, started a rebellion to set up an inde 
pendent government. 

The Republic of Colombia sent sufficient troops to 
overthrow and suppress the rebellion, but Roosevelt 
had instructed the officers in control of the American 
marines not to allow Colombia to land any troops in 
Panama or to interfere with what went on there. Pur 
suant to their instructions, our officers refused to allow 
the Colombian troops to proceed to the scene of rebel- 


lion, but, instead, turned them back and compelled 
them to return to Colombia. 

On November 2, 1903, the Department of State at 
Washington telegraphed the naval authorities at the 
Isthmus as follows: 

" (a) Keep the transit free and uninterrupted. Should 
there be a threat of interruption by armed force, oc 
cupy the railroad line; prevent the landing of any 
armed force having hostile intentions, whether the 
government or insurgent, at Colon, Portobelo, or any 
other point. Prevent landing if in your judgment it 
might precipitate a conflict. 

"(b) In case of doubt regarding the intentions of 
any armed force, occupy Ancon Hill and fortify it with 

About 3:40 P. M. on November 3, 1903, Loomis, Act 
ing Secretary of State, sent the following telegram to 
the person in charge of the United States consulate at 
Panama : 

"We are informed that there has been an uprising 
on the Isthmus; keep this department informed of 
everything without delay." The Consul of the United 
States answered on the same day: "The uprising has 
not occurred yet ; it is announced that it will take place 
this evening. The situation is critical."* 

Later on the same day (November 3) at about nine 
o clock, Loomis sent the following telegram to the 
United States consulate at Panama: "Troops which 
landed from Cartagena must not continue to Panama." 

At 10:30 the same day, another telegram was sent 
to the same official : "If the cablegram to the Nashville 
(one of the war vessels then at Panama) has not been 
delivered, inform her captain immediately that he must 
prevent the government troops from continuing on to 

* This correspondence will be found in House Document 8, 
58th Congress, 1st Session, which contains the official correspon 
dence connected with the Panama Revolution of 1903. 


Panama or from assuming an attitude which might re 
sult in bloodshed/* 

On the same day, November 3, the following telo- 
gram was sent to the Secretary of the Navy by the 
commander of one of the war vessels stationed at 
Colon : 

"I acknowledge receipt of your telegram of Novem 
ber 2 (above referred to). Before receiving it, there 
were landed here this morning by the Colombian gov 
ernment about four hundred from Cartagena. Thera 
is no revolution on the Isthmus, nor any disturbance. 
It is possible that the movement to proclaim indepen 
dence may take place in Panama this evening." 

At about 10 o clock P. M. of the same day, the De 
partment of State at Washington received from the 
Vice-Consul of the United States in Panama the fol 
lowing telegram: "The revolt took place this evening at 
six; there has been no bloodshed. The government 
will be organized this evening and will be composed of 
three consuls and a cabinet. It is believed that a simi 
lar movement will take place in Colon." 

On the same day General Tovar arrived at Colon with 
a battalion of sharpshooters from the Colombian army, 
a force more than adequate to handle the uprising on 
the Isthmus. 

On the following day, November 4, Hubbard, com 
mander of one of our war vessels at Colon, sent the 
Secretary of the Navy the following dispatch: "Gov 
ernment troops (Colombian) now at Colon. I have 
prohibited the movement of troops in either direction. 
There has been no interruption of transit yet. I shall 
make every effort to preserve peace and order." 

On November 6, the Secretary of State at Washing 
ton, telegraphed to the Vice-Consul in Panama in the 
following terms : "The people of Panama by an appar 
ently unanimous movement have severed their political 
bonds with the Republic of Colombia and have assumed 
their independence. As soon as you are convinced that 
a de facto government, republican in form and without 


substantial opposition on the part of its own people, 
has been established on the Isthmus of Panama, you 
will enter into relations with it as the responsible gov 
ernment of the territory." 

Here, then, was a rebellion by one state against a 
sister republic a rebellion which we helped to organ 
ize, a rebellion which was assisted by our troops and 
navy, which were sent in advance to help make the re 
bellion a success. Is there any more glaring chapter 
of infamous conduct in the treatment of one nation 
by another than this proceeding on the part of the 
United States? I know of nothing that parallels it in 
its infamy except the annexation of Texas, the acquisi 
tion of Hawaii and of the Philippines. 

Let me cite one more illustration of the imperialistic 
methods employed by the United States in its recent 
dealings with Latin-America. Central America is a 
country about four times as large as the state of Ohio, 
and has a population of a little over five million people. 
The country is divided into five republics Guatemala, 
Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Dur 
ing Taft s administration the United States intervened 
during a difficulty between some of the Central Ameri 
can states, in which Nicaragua was involved. The 
United States thereupon said: "Let us have a confer 
ence," and the result was that all of the states of Cen 
tral America except Nicaragua sent delegates to Costa 
Rica to attend the conference, the object of which was 
to make perpetual peace in Central America. 

The president of Nicaragua refused to send a dele 
gate because the conference had been called by the 
United States, and he would not recognize the right of 
the United States to interfere in Central American af 
fairs. Thereupon the United States sent down troops 
and drove him out of office and put a puppet in his 
place. Afterwards a meeting was held in Washington 
of the Central American states, and Nicaragua partici 

At that meeting a League of Nations was formed of 


the Central American republics, and it was agreed ,o 
arbitrate all their differences and thus to end war for 
ever. There was to be an international court to decide 
the international problems of Central America. Car 
negie hailed the proposition with delight, and furnished 
one hundred thousand dollars to build a marble peace 
building in Costa Rica. 

Meanwhile, the puppet we had set up in the place cf 
the duly elected president of Nicaragua began looting 
the treasury of Nicaragua, and was finally forced to 
borrow money. The United States Government there 
upon notified their puppet that the New York bankers 
would let him have all the money he wanted. 

In 1912 the people of Nicaragua revolted against th>3 
government .set up by us, and in order to support our 
man in authority we landed marines in the capital of: 
Nicaragua, and we have kept them there, and our 
creatures have been ruling there ever since. Nicaragua 
contracted further debts, until at last they could nor, 
meet their interest payments. 

In 1916 Nicaragua was very hard up, and we said tc< 
her: "Your case is practically hopeless. You cannot 
pay interest on your debt. The United States may 
,some time want to build a canal up the San Juan River 
and through Lake Nicaragua to the Pacific Ocean. Give 
us the San Juan River and the lake, with the privilege 
of building the canal when we get ready to do it, and 
give us that splendid bay of Fonesca, and a little island 
for a naval base, and we will loan you the money to 
pay your interest and put things on a new basis." The 
result was that Nicaragua, having a president of our 
choice, maintained by our blue jackets, said: "Very 
good. We will give you the right of way and we will 
.sell you the island, and will take the funds to pay the 
interest on the money we owe you." 

Costa Rica claimed a partial right in the San Juan 
River, which is the boundary between the two nations. 
We were therefore proposing to purchase from Nica 
ragua a part of the territory belonging to Costa Rica. 


There was a long debate over the subject, and it was 
finally appealed to the United States during the admin 
istration of Grover Cleveland. Cleveland was the judge 
and gave a clear-cut decision that was just and equit 
able and satisfactory to all parties. 

Another nation now came into the case San Sal 
vador. The Gulf of Fonesca abuts Nicaragua and it 
abuts San Salvador. An island in that bay commands 
the shores of San Salvador, and San Salvodar said : "We 
object to giving away any naval base in Fonesca Bay, 
even to the United States, because it threatens our 
coast." So the case came before the court at Costa 
Rica before the League of Nations and was thor 
oughly considered and a decision rendered, which was 
against Nicaragua and the United States and in favor 
of San Salvador and Costa Rica. Yet, Nicaragua, 
backed by the United States, refused to recognize the 
decision of the court. The League of Nations, formed 
to secure perpetual peace, vanished into thin air. 

In 1917 the president of Costa Rica was overthrown, 
and another president took his place. The matter was 
referred to President Wilson, and he refused to recog 
nize the rebellion which had occurred over the question 
of an election during which it appears that Timco, the 
new president, represented the majority of the people. 
At any rate, the matter was purely a local one. But 
Wilson said, "I will not recognize him." Thereupon, the 
Costa Rica Congress met and recognized the adminis 
tration of the new president; but Wilson still refused, 
although the new president had been recognized by 
every Latin-American country except Panama, Nica 
ragua and Cuba all three dominated by the President 
of the United States. 

Recently we have purchased the Danish West Indies, 
which lie on the ocean side of the Caribbean Sea, with 
out asking the consent of the people living there. We 
have taken over Santo Domingo ; we collect the customs 
of the country; the finest building in the republic is 
our customs house, built with Dominican money by 


Americans and officered by Americans. Haiti, the other 
half of the island, without any declaration of war by 
the United States Congress, was seized by President 
Wilson and is now being administered in every detail by 
the United States. The excuse given for this action 
by the Wilson administration was that the Republic of 
Haiti owed money to the National City Bank of New 
York. On their account the United States invaded the 
island, placed it under martial law, suppressed the 
newspapers, dispersed the legislative assembly, domi 
nated the elections and murdered several thousands of 
the people.* 

The Declaration of Independence holds that "All men 
are created equal; that they are endowed by their Cre 
ator with certain inalienable rights; that among them 
are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to 
secure these rights, governments are instituted among 
men, deriving their just powers from the consent of tha 
governed." I should like to call Jefferson as a witness 
and have him tell us what he thinks of these disgusting 
perversions of American foreign policy. 

Again and again the United States has fastened itn 
eyes on a desirable piece of territory and then sent its 
armies to fulfill its territorial ambitions. Again and 
again the American flag has floated over battlefields 
where the victors were invaders from the United 
States, while the men, fighting desperately in defense 
of their homes, their children and their liberties, were 
the inhabitants of small, weak, defenseless countries 
that could not stand before the organized might at the 
disposal of the great northern empire. 

The essence of imperialism is the extension, by armed 
force, of the rule of one people over another as we 
extend our rule over the southwest; over the Philip 
pines ; over Haiti and over Nicaragua. Such armed con- 

* General Barnett placed the number killed by the American 
forces at 3,250. 


quest is recorded among the acts of imperialists in 
every age. During the past two generations pur Amer 
ican imperialists have greatly extended the list. 

One annexation leads to another annexation. One 
act of aggression is followed by a second. The prin 
ciple of expansion established by Jefferson, and which 
he considered to be "beyond the Constitution," is ac 
claimed by Roosevelt with enthusiasm. Meanwhile, 
Roosevelt, who boasted of the taking of Panama from 
Colombia, scores "the feeble diplomacy of Jefferson s 
administration" (Winning of the West, Vol. VI, p. 261) 
and refers to Jefferson and Madison as "peaceful men, 
quite unfitted to grapple with an enemy who expressed 
himself through deeds rather than words," and as 
"two timid, well-meaning statesmen." (Ibid. p. 271.) 
In 1803 the Constitution was still virile and respected. 
Even a President of the United States hesitated to 
transgress it. Exactly a century later a President 
could act as Roosevelt acted in Panama ; could consider 
himself an exemplary American, and could taunt those 
who had tried to observe the Constitution during an 
earlier generation with being "peaceful," "timid," and 

Between Jefferson s hesitancy over the purchase of 
Louisiana in 1803 (a contiguous territory) and Roose 
velt s eager seizure of Panama in 1903, there stretched 
a century that witnessed a slow, but steady shifting 
from the principles of Jefferson and the Declaration of 
Independence to the principles of Caesar, Napoleon, 
McKinley, Roosevelt, Wilson, the Platt Amendment and 
the Peace Treaty of Versailles. 

Since the annexation of Hawaii in 1898 the United 
States has been speeding away from her old policies; 
abandoning her old positions and devoting herself to a 
venture in imperialism that drags her down to the level 
of the British Empire, the Japanese Empire, the Roman 
Empire, the great empire of Alexander, or of any other 
conquering people, past or present. 



During the five eventful years that intervened be 
tween the Hawaiian. Revolution and the passage of 
the treaty of annexation, I did all that a man could do 
to prevent the American people from taking this fatal 
step. As a reward for my efforts I was denounced, 
vilified and condemned. The lawyers in the Senate;, 
representing the business interests that were seeking 
the ratification of the treaty, put everything possible 
in the way of my work. Still I succeeded in blocking 
the ratification of the treaty for five years. Then came 
the break with Spain. When the Spanish War fever 
swept the country I knew that the fight on the Ha 
waiian Treaty was lost. Since that day in July, 1898, 
when the Hawaiian Treaty was ratified, for twenty-two 
years I have watched the progress of the United States 
along the path of empire. Through these years, like 
wise, I have done what I could to bring the real facts 
of the situation to the attention of the American peo 
ple. It may be too late to save them from the fate that 
hangs over them, but at least I want them to know 
where they are going, and why. 

I want the American people to know what to say 
when they are told that United States business men 
and United States soldiers are in the Philippines, Porto 
Rico, Santo Domingo and Panama to bless the inhabit 
ants of these countries. I want them to know that it 
is an oft-repeated story the plea of "helping the back 
ward nations." 

The cry that w r e have entered upon our imperial 
course in order to benefit the native populations in the 
lands that we have conquered or annexed is an old one. 
Dickens personified it splendidly in his character, the 
Reverend Mr. Chadband. Dickens description of the 
encounter between the reverend gentleman and a street 
waif is as follows : 

"Stretching forth his flabby paw, Mr. Chadband lays 
the same on Jo s arm and considers where to station 


him. Jo, very doubtful of his reverend friend s inten 
tions and not at all clear but that something practical 
and painful is going to be done to him, mutters, You 
let me alone. I never said nothing to you. You let me 

" No, my young friend, says Chadband, smoothly, 
I will not let you alone. And why? Because I am a 
harvest laborer, because I am a toiler and a moiler, 
because you are delivered over unto me and are become 
as a precious instrument in my hands. My friends, 
may 1 so employ this instrument as to use it to your 
advantage, to your profit, to your gain, to your wel 
fare, to your enrichment. My young friend, sit upon 
this stool. 

"Jo, apparently possessed by an impression that the 
reverend gentleman wants to cut his hair, shields his 
head with both arms." 

How well Dickens knew human nature ! How char 
acteristically he describes the crafty gentry who use 
fair words to cover up foul deeds. Had he lived today 
and watched the practice of American imperialism, he 
would have been satisfied to let Mr. Chadband give way 
before his betters. 

T have before me McKinley s proclamation to the 
Filipinos, and I have placed it side by side with a proc 
lamation of the King of Assyria, written eighteen hun 
dred years before Christ. A man would think that 
McKinley had plagiarized the idea from Asshurbanipal. 

Ragozin, in his History of Assyria, gives a literal 
translation of a proclamation issued by Asshurbanipal 
to the people of Elam. The Elamites had gone to war. 
Rather, their country had been invaded by Asshurbani- 
pal s forces, which had overrun the land, cut down the 
trees, filled up the wells and killed the inhabitants. 
Asshurbanipal captured the capital city of the Elam 
ites, killed their king, took 208,000 of their people into 
captivity as slaves, drove off most of the cattle belong 
ing to those that were left, and then sent them this 
affectionate greeting: 


"The will of the king to the men of the coast, the sea, 
the sons of my servants. 

"My peace to your hearts ; may you be well. 

"I am watching over you, and from the sin of your 
king, Nabubelzikri, I separated you. Now I send you 
my servant Belibni to be my deputy over you ; I have 
joined with you, keeping your good and your benefit in 
my sight." 

McKinley writes to the Filipinos : 

"Finally, it should be the earnest and paramount aim 
of the administration to win the confidence, respect and 
affection of the inhabitants of the Philippines by insur 
ing to them in every possible way the full measure of 
individual rights and liberties which is the heritage of 
a free people, and by proving to them that the mission 
oi the United States is one of benevolent assimilation, 
which will substitute the mild sway of justice and right 
for arbitrary rule. In the fulfillment of this high mis 
sion, while upholding the temporary administration of 
affairs for the greatest good of the governed, there will 
be sedulously maintained the strong arm of authority 
to repress disturbance and to overcome all obstacles 
to the bestowal of good and stable government upon the 
people of the Philippine Islands." 

This reads very much like King George III of Great 
Britain, who said, with reference to the rebellious 
American colonists: 

"I am desirous of restoring to them the blessings of 
law and liberty equally enjoyed by every British sub 
ject, which they have fatally and desperately ex 
changed for the calamities of war and the arbitrary 
tyranny of their chiefs." 

Every conqueror, every tyrant, every oppressor, 
utters .just such pious phrases to justify his course of 
action. The English-speaking people are particularly 
adept at this form of hypocrisy. Each act of aggres 
sion, each new expedition of conquest is prefaced by a 
pronouncement containing a moral justification and an 


assurance to the victims of the imperial aggression that 
all is being done for their benefit. 

What are we about in the United States? Why this 
rush to control the Philippines, Haiti, Costa Rica? The 
answer can be given in one word exploitation ! It is 
the search for markets; the search for trade; the 
search for foreign investment opportunities that is 
leading us to the South and to the East. The plutoc 
racy is after more profits that is the cause behind 
American imperialism. 

The imperialists aim is to assimilate, not the people 
of these possessions, but their lands and their wealth. 
If the people will work, the American plutocrats will 
exploit their labor as well as the resources of their 
respective countries. If the people refuse to work, they 
will be brushed aside, and men and women who will be 
more amenable to discipline will be imported from 
some other country to take their places. Who was 
responsible for the Hawaiian revolution and for the 
subsequent annexation to the United States? The 
American and other capitalists who had gained posses 
sion of the best land on the islands. What interests 
led the State Department to interfere in Haiti and in 
Nicaragua? The same business forces. Imperialism 
is imperialism the world over. Occasionally it is suffi 
ciently enlighted to have some regard for the welfare 
of the exploited populations. At other times it is as 
blind and ignorant and ferocious as the policy of the 
British imperialists in China. 

I spent a portion of the year 1898 in China and 
Japan, traveling extensively over both empires. At 
first hand, and from the best authority, I learned the 
policy that the British Government had pursued with 
regard to the traffic in opium, and I submit it as an 
excellent example of the way in which the empire 
builders act where they have an opportunity to make 
profits out of the wretchedness and suffering of a 
weaker people. 

In Pekin, I had several conferences with Li Hung 


Chang, who was then an old man, having been the vir 
tual ruler of China for very many years under the 
Empress Dowager. In one of the conferences I asked 
Li Hung Chang why he did not stamp out opinm smok 
ing in China. He replied that he could not because the 
English Government refused to allow the Chinese to 
interfere with the trade. He then told me that in some 
of the provinces of China (for China is divided into a 
number of States) the Governors were raising poppies 
and making opium, in order to beat the English out of 
the trade in China. He said that he had tried to secure 
an agreement with the English under which he was to 
stop the raising of poppies in China provided the 
English would stop importing opium. This he had 
been unable to do, as the trade in opium was an Eng 
lish monopoly conducted by the Government itself. 

According to his statement, the English had set 
apart a million acres of the best land in India for the 
purpose of raising poppies, and had compelled the 
people of India to raise the poppies and sell the product 
exclusively to the English Government. The English 
had built a factorj r to manufacture the opium, and 
every package that left the factory was decorated with 
the coat of arms of Queen Victoria. Opium was little 
used in China until the English introduced it early in 
the nineteenth century. The Emperor had protested 
against the opium trade, but the English Government 
insisted upon its right to sell opium to the Chinese. 
Finally, the Emperor of China sent his men aboard 
some English ships that were lying, loaded with opium, 
in the harbor of Canton and threw the poison into the 
sea. Seventy years earlier the American colonists had 
set the precedent for this Canton opium party by going 
aboard the British ships in Boston Harbor and throw 
ing the tea overboard. Today the anniversary of the 
"Boston Tea Party" is one of the fete days of the people 
of New England. The British liked the exploit as little 
as the other, however, and they began a war with China 
(1840). This war, sometimes called the First Opium 


War, went against China, and she was compelled to 
cede Hongkong to the British, to open four other ports 
to British trade, and to pay an indemnity of 5,525,000 
pounds sterling into the British Treasury. The matter 
came in for a good deal of comment in Parliament, but 
eventually it was dropped.* In 1857 a new controversy 
arose, and the Emperor again undertook to exclude 
English opium, giving as the reason that it was de 
stroying his people; that the drug was a deadly drug 
and was causing great injury, and he enacted laws 
making it a criminal offense for the people of China to 
smoke opium, or for anyone to import the drug. In 
connection with this campaign he confiscated the opium 
that the English had already imported and imprisoned 
the people who handled it. 

England thereupon declared another war upon China 
which was called the Second Opium War (1858-1862). 
Again China was defeated. Canton was bombarded; 
Pekin was threatened ; and, after a disastrous struggle, 
the Chinese made a treaty under which several new 
ports were opened to British trade; a British Ambas 
sador was received at Pekin, and China paid an indem 
nity of 4,000,000 pounds sterling to the British. After 
each war, the British were able to bring opium into a 
few more Chinese ports. 

Li Hung Chang spoke with great bitterness of this 
conduct on the part of a so-called Christian nation, and 
went quite largely into the question of the injurious 
use of opium. He also presented me with a copy of the 
treaty made between China and Japan after the China- 
Japanese War, which had occurred only a few years 
before I visited Pekin. This treaty was written in 
English and Chinese, and the book handed me con- 

* "Ashley even brought forward a resolution for the suppres 
sion of the opium trade, but withdrew it after a debate turning 
on the inability of the Indian Government to part with a revenue 
of 1,000,000 pounds sterling or more." The History of England. 
Sydney Law and L. C. Sanders. Longmans. 1913, Vol. 12, p. 41. 


tained Li Hung Chang s picture and autograph, and the 
entire record of the conversations held at Shimonoseki 
between the ruler of China and Count Ito, the repre 
sentative of Japan. 

The terms of the treaty compelled China to cede to 
Japan the Island of Formosa, which had an area of 
13,000 square miles, and was inhabited by four million 
Chinamen. In the conversation which preceded this 
treaty, Count Ito asked Li Hung Chang why he did not 
stamp out the opium traffic in China, as he had prom 
ised to do at Tientsin ten years before. Li Hung Chang 
answered that he could not do it because the English 
Government would not allow it. "Furthermore," said 
he to Count Ito, "if you take the island of Formosa and 
stop opium smoking, it will result in a war with Eng 
land." To this Ito replied: "That may be true, but 
we will stamp out opium smoking even if it does result 
in war." 

When I heard that story, told impressively by a 
member of the race that had suffered such wrong at the 
hands of British imperialism, I could not help compar 
ing it in my mind with the participation of America in 
the slave trade, and wondering what new infamies the 
imperialist policy in which we were then, and still are 
engaged, would lead us to in the course of the present 

The British had nothing against the Chinese. They 
sold them opium because there was money in it. If 
there had been no profits in the trade there would have 
been no opium war. Our imperial ventures, like those 
of the British, are financial. We are in the imperialist 
business because it pays the plutocrats to be there. 

I never realized this so completely as in the winter 
of 1900, when a delegation from Porto Rico visited the 
city of Washington for the purpose of having the 
products of Porto Rico admitted free of duty to the 
United States. The delegation came before the Commit 
tee on Insular Affairs, of which I was then chairman, 
and asked for a hearing. I therefore called the mem- 


bers of the committee together so that they might hear 
the Porto Rican delegation present its case. 

There were five members in the delegation two 
Englishmen, two Spaniards and a Frenchman. I had 
one of the Englishmen take the stand first and asked 
him what it was he desired the Congress of the United 
States to do. He answered that the delegation desired 
to have the products of Porto Rico sugar, tobacco and 
tropical fruits admitted to the United States free of 

I then asked him. "Are you a citizen of the United 

"No," was his reply. "I am a citizen of England, 
but a resident of the United States." 

"Are you going to become a citizen of the United 
States?" I asked. He replied that he was not. 

I then asked what interest he had in Porto Rico. He 
answered that he owned 200,000 acres of land. 

"You are working your land at the present time?" I 

"Not to any great extent," he replied. He then ex 
plained that the land could raise great crops of sugar 
that might very nearly supply the United States if the 
industry were encouraged by having the sugar admit 
ted free of duty. 

In answer to a question about the people that were 
occupying his lands in Porto Rico, the Englishman 
explained that they were "natives." 

"Are they your tenants?" I said to him. "Do they 
rent the land from you?" 

"Yes," he answered. "They live in single-room 
houses as a rule, elevated from the ground on posts, 
one post at each corner. As a rule the houses are from 
six to eight feet from the ground." He then told us 
how the natives built a floor on top of these posts and 
then made a palm-leaf hut in which they resided. For 
support they planted yams and dry-land bananas and 
raised chickens and pigs. They paid their rent for the 


use of the land by a certain number of days work on 
the Englishman s plantation. 

To my question as to the character of the people, he 
replied that they were "good people." When I asked 
him whether they could read or write, he said they 
could not, since there were no provisions on the island 
for their education. 

I then put the other Englishman on the stand. He 
told the same story. After that I questioned the two 
Spaniards and the Frenchman. They all owned several 
hundred thousand acres of land, which were being used 
more or less in the way already described. All spoke 
of the native inhabitants as "good people," as mostly 
white people, and as entirely illiterate. 

I asked if there were any of the natives who owned 
their own land. All agreed that there were very few 

After I had taken their testimony in full, and had 
showed up the enormities of the economic system then 
existing in Porto Rico, I told them that the hearing was 
closed; that as long as I remained chairman of the 
Committee on Insular Affairs they would get no legis 
lation enacted admitting their product free of duty; 
that if I could have my way about it I would cancel 
their title to every acre of the lands of Porto Rico and 
make the title out to the people of the United States. 
That I would then give an inalienable title to every 
person in Porto Rico for all the land that he could 
actually use, and levy taxes upon them for the com 
pulsory education of their children. 

" What !" they exclaimed. "Take our property with 
out paying us for it?" 

"It is not your property," I answered. "The land of 
Porto Rico belongs to the people who inhabit it and 
who work it. I would not pay you a dollar for your 
pretended title or allow you to remain there for one 
day to exploit the inhabitants of that island or to hold 
a single acre of that land in excess of the amount actu 
ally occupied and cultivated by you in person." 


Of course, when my term of office expired in 1901 
these foreign highwaymen, waiting to prey upon the 
people of Porto Rico, returned to Washington and 
secured the legislation they desired. They also secured 
control of the Government of Porto Rico, and made 
arrangements for a large armed police force to pre 
serve law and order. They also appealed to Congress 
to put a duty on Cuban sugar in order to prevent it 
from competing with Porto Rican sugar. They then 
returned to the islands and began their work of "eco 
nomic development." 

About the first thing they did was to cancel the leases 
of the inhabitants who occupied the land. Then they 
compelled them to work for wages, raising sugar and 
tobacco, and they refused them the use of any land to 
raise yams, bananas, pigs and chickens, and they fixed 
the wages at 50 cents a day in silver. Little provision 
was made for the education of the people, and the 
wages were so low that, with their large families, the 
laborers, found it impossible to buy adequate food and 
clothing. Consequently, their children grew up with 
out clothes ran naked in the fields and even in the 
towns and were put to work as soon as they grew 
old enough to be of use. 

Shortly after this beautiful plan of "economic devel 
opment" was put in effect, the owners of Porto Rico 
began to boast of the great things they had done for 
the people. They told how they had furnished employ 
ment ; had put up the mills and factories and brought in 
the machinery to make the sugar out of the raw cane, 
and to manufacture the tobacco, so that Porto Rico 
exported 150,000,000 worth of the product per annum 
to the United States. With it all, the miserable peons 
of Porto Rico went naked and starving in one of the 
richest spots of the whole world. 

After the first few crops had been harvested, the 
laborers of Porto Rico went on strike, leaving the cane 
to sour in the field. Thereupon these foreign pirates, 
the English, the Spanish, the French and the American 


planters, called in the police force and the armed men 
of the United States and shot up the strikers ard 
arrested them and put them back to work in the fields 
those they had not wounded or murdered. Thus, 
economic development pursued its imperial course in 
Porto Rico, where conditions are as bad today as they 
were when we took possession of the island twenty-two 
years ago, and always will remain as bad until the 
system of exploitation at home and abroad is aban 
doned and labor is given its just reward. 

Lest anyone should think that I am exaggerating, I 
should like to call attention to a report recently pub 
lished by the United States Department of Labor, giv 
ing a full description of the working and living con 
ditions in Porto Rico. (Labor Conditions in Porto 
Rico, by Joseph Marcus, Washington, 1919.) The spe 
cial investigator who wrote the report for the Labor 
Department, as a result of a careful study of condi 
tions, states that : 

The American flag has been flying over the island of 
Porto Rico for twenty years, yet the percentage of illit 
eracy is still abnormally high. During the years 1917 
and 1918 "only 142,846 children out of a total of 427,- 
666 of school age actually enrolled in the public 
schools." "The difficulty," says Mr. Marcus, "lies in 
the bad economic condition" in which the worker finds 
himself. "Porto Rico is an island of wealthy land pro 
prietors and of landless workers. There is a law in 
Porto Rico prohibiting any single individual from own 
ing more than 500 acres of land. * * * With the 
American occupation the price of cane land rose very 
high from thirty to three hundred dollars per acre 
and this induced many a small holder to sell his land 
and join the ranks of the laborers." Under the circum 
stances, the law limiting land holdings was not en 
forced, and at the present time "of the best land of 
Porto Rico, 537,193 acres are owned and 229,203 acres 
are leased by 477 individuals, partnerships, or corpora 
tions from the United States, Spain, France and other 


countries." The total wealth of the island is in the 
hands of fifteen per cent, of the population. Fourteen 
per cent of the wealth is in the hands of native Porto 
Ricans. Sixty-seven per cent is owned by Americans. 
Four-fifths of the people of Porto Rico live in the rural 
districts. They build their little shacks on land that 
does not belong to them; they work when work is to 
be had on the nearest plantation; the men dress in a 
pair of trousers, a shirt and a straw hat. "Throughout 
the island thousands of children of the ages from one 
to seven years go naked, in the towns as well as in the 
rural districts." 

When the laborer is at work he and his family share 
the following diet: 

Breakfast Black coffee, without milk, and 
quite often without sugar. 

Lunch Rice and beans, or rice and codfish, 
or codfish and plantins. 

Supper The same as lunch. 

This diet holds good while the laborer has steady worK, 
but, during a large part of the year five or six months 
there is no work. "How he pulls through the slow 
season is a mystery to many who are interested in the 
welfare of the laborer." 

The Porto Rican laborer is a sick man. "Hookworm 
disease, anemia, etc., are very widespread." 

The low energy value of the diet, together with the 
prevalence of sickness, has so undermined the endur 
ance of the Porto Rican laborer that a number of ex 
periments in .scientific diet, carried on by the employers 
themselves, resulted in increasing the working capacity 
of the men from 50 to 100 per cent. Mr. Marcus finds 
that, with an increase in wages which would enable the 
laborer to purchase some meat and dairy products, the 
charge of laziness and inefficiency, which is frequently 
lodged against the workers, might well be withdrawn. 
The investigation upon which Mr. Marcus bases his 
report was made during the year 1919. At that time 
machinists in the sugar mills received about one dollar 


per day. Laborers in the busy season were paid ninety 
cents per day; in the ,slow season seventy cents. The 
working clay is from ten to twelve hours. On the to 
bacco plantations men s wages during the busy season 
are from sixty to eighty cents a day and, during the 
dull season, from forty to sixty cents a day. Women 
receive from thirty-five to forty-five cents a day in the 
busy season and from twenty-five to thirty-five a day 
in the dull season. On the coffee plantations wages are 
lower. Men receive from fifty to sixty cents per day 
in the busy season and from thirty-five to forty-five 
cents per day in the dull season. 

Mr. Marcus reports that the needle industry is mak 
ing considerable headway in Porto Rico. Men s and 
children s suits are manufactured by women operators 
who earn from three dollars and fifty cents to five dol 
lars per week. Embroidery manufacturing, lace-mak 
ing and drawing work pay from one dollar and twenty- 
five cents to four dollars per week. The work is done 
exclusively by women. 

Detailed descriptions are given of living and working 
conditions in these and other industries. Enough has 
been said here to indicate very clearly that the Ameri 
can people, having assumed the responsibility for di 
recting the lives of 1,118,012 Porto Ricans, are far 
behind the standard of health and decency" which 
civilization prescribes as the minimum below which 
human beings cannot be expected to live and to work. 

Here are tw T o examples of the work of modern em 
pires. Great Britain fought two wars in order to force 
the drug habit on China. The United States took Porto 
Rico away from its "Spanish oppressors" and then 
turned the island over to absentee landlords, whose 
sole interest in the island was to make out of it all the 
money they could. This is imperialism at its worst 
hard, grasping, western imperialism. With it I should 
like to contrast an instance of imperialism among the 
"heathen" of the Orient. 

Japan took the Island of Formosa from China about 


1897. Formosa is a very fertile island lying off the 
coast of China in the Pacific Ocean. Its population is 
almost exclusively Chinese, and it has been a part of 
the Chinese Empire for over four thousand years. The 
inhabitants nearly all smoked opium which had been 
forced upon them by England as a result of the two 
"Opium wars." When Japan compelled China to relin 
quish her right to the Island of Formosa (she had al 
ready occupied the island during the war) she sent 
eight hundred surveyors to the island and surveyed 
all of the land in Formosa. When the survey was com 
pleted she made maps showing who occupied each 
tract and describing the title by which it was held. 

The Japanese found that the land in Formosa was 
owned in great tracts by Chinese mandarins, most of 
whom lived over in the cities on the main coast of 
China, many of them in Amboy. The holdings of these 
absentee landlords were from 200,000 to 500,000 acres. 
On the island itself practically all of the 4,000,000 in 
habitants were landless and were paying rent to own 
ers who lived abroad. No provision whatever was 
made for the education of the Formosan children. 

Japan at the same time registered every opium 
smoker in Formosa and ascertained the amount of 
opium he smoked each day. She also destroyed every 
poppy field in Formosa and built an opium factory and 
purchased the raw opium from the Indian (English) 
Government to supply the registered opium smokers 
each day with the amount they smoked. She then 
passed a statute making the raising of poppies a crime 
and making it a criminal offense for any person except 
a registered opium smoker to have any opium in his 
possession. Consequently, when all the registered 
opium smokers died off, opium smoking was wiped out 
all over the island. 

Having surveyed the land and ascertained just who 
owned it, Japan passed a law taking the title of the 
Island of Formosa from the landlords and conveying it 
to the Empire of Japan. As compensation to the land- 


lords, Japan issued 4,000,000 yen of Formosan trust 
bonds and divided these bonds arbitrarily among those 
who had owned the island. Then she gave to each 
farmer who tilled the soil in Formosa the land he occu 
pied, and used, as well as the improvements which t e 
already owned, and accompanied this gift with a pro 
vision that the farmer might dispose of his improve 
ments to any other person who actually used and occu 
pied the same, or that his improvements might descend 
to his children. In the case of the land, however, he 
was denied the right to alienate any portion of it. The 
Japanese also established schools all over Formosa fcr 
the compulsory education of the people. 

I cite these facts because they present a picture of 
imperialism at its best as it was practiced by Japan 
in contrast with imperialism at its worst, as it is prac 
ticed by Great Britain and the United States. At bot 
tom, however, imperialism is imperialism and is the 
same in principle, wherever it is found. 

After all, why talk nonsense? Why lie to others? 
Why seek to deceive ourselves? An imperial policy has 
as its object the enrichment of the imperial class. Tha 
plain man the farmer, the miner, -the factory worke r 
is not the gainer through imperialism. Rather the 
monopolist, the land owner, the manufacturer, the 
trader, the banker who have stolen what there is to 
steal at home, devote their energies to the pursuit of 
empire because the pursuit of empire gives them an 
opportunity to exploit and rob abroad. 

We annexed Hawaii, not to help the Hawaiians, but 
because it was a good business proposition for the 
sugar interests. We took the Philippine Islands be 
cause the far-seeing among the plutocrats believed that 
there was a future economic advantage in the East. 
For the same reason we are in Haiti, Costa Rica and 
Panama. Each step along the imperial path is taken 
for the economic advantage of the business men of the 
United States and at the expense of the liberty and 
the lives of the natives over whom we secure dominion. 



The United States has entered upon the course of 
empire. There is no limit to imperial policy ; if we can 
justify the taking of the Philippines and governing 
them against their will if we can justify conquering 
countries where our Constitution cannot go our 
armies will soon be marching across Mexico, down the 
Isthmus to South America, leaving death and desola 
tion in their track, rearing upon the ruins of those free 
governments a tyrannical, despotic power. 

Let a free people once set out on an imperial course 
and the institutions that are dear to every lover of 
liberty disappear like April snow. 

Imperial power cannot possibly be maintained with 
out an immense navy and a standing army. Do not 
the very existence of such an army and such a navy 
constitute a denial of all that the old America stood 

Armies and navies are fighting machines. If they 
ara to be successfully operated there must be one man 
to whom is given supreme control. If there is to be an 
empire, there must be a dictator, so that he can move 
with rapidity; so that decisions can be made in a day 
and arm Jos marched and ships moved where danger is 
seen. Is despotism what the people of America desire? 
If so, they will have it indeed, they now have it under 
the imperial realities that are cloaked under the guise 
of republican names and republican traditions. Is it 
freedom that the American people seek? Then they 
must abandon the course of empire. 

It is impossible for a republican form of government 
to function as an empire. Republican institutions in 
variably are corrupted when imperialism is established. 
Creasy, in his Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, 
puts the matter tersely in these words : 

"There has never been a republic yet in history that 
acquired dominion over another nation that did not rule 
it selfishly and oppressively. There is no single excep- 


tion to this rule, either in ancient or modern times. 
Carthage, Rome, Venice, Genoa, Florence, Pisa, Holland 
and Republican France, all tyrannized over every prov 
ince and subject-state where they gained authority. 

Imperialism is tyranny and in the process of destroy 
ing liberty abroad you crush it effectively at home. 
Senator Hoar saw the peril. When the question oi 
imperialism was up for discussion in the Senate he 
said (January 9, 1899) : 

"We have now to meet a greater danger than we have 
encountered since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth 
the danger that we are to be transformed from a repub 
lic, founded on the Declaration of Independence, guided 
by the counsels of Washington, into a vulgar, common 
place empire, founded upon physical force." 

Read history ! The record is unmistakable. 

Among the plutocracies and the monarchies of the 
past, whenever property and power have been gathered 
into the hands of the few and discontent has appeared 
among the masses, it has been the policy to acquire 
foreign possessions, to enlarge the army and the navy, 
so as to keep discontent occupied and thus distract its 
attention. A foreign war has cut many a domestic 
tangle. The recent record of the United States in its 
acquisition of foreign territory, coming as it does with 
an increase of the army and the navy, tells the sinister 
story of the decision which the ruling classes of Am 
erica have made to pursue an imperial policy. 

The growth of the army and navy of the United 
States during the past twenty years has been phenom 
enal. When I entered the Senate, the authorized 
strength of the army was 28,417 men and the annual 
army appropriation was $44,582,838. Today the au 
thorized strength of the army is 175,000 and the appro 
priation requested by the War Department is $935,- 
000,000. The navy, which received an appropriation 
of $22,006,206 in 1890, is asking this year for $695,- 
000,000. A generation has seen the army and navy 
of the United States increased from defensive organiza- 


tions to the powerful, imperial fighting machines the 
dogs of war, larger, stronger and better fed than those 
belonging to any other nation in the world. 

Rome was organized as a republic. For the first six 
hundred years of her history she had the best govern 
ment then existing on the globe. To be a Roman citi 
zen was a greater honor than to be a king in another 

Rome consolidated her pow r er until she ruled all Italy. 
Then she began to spread out along the northern coast 
of the Mediterranean to reach into Assia Minor and 
Africa. But, when the policy of acquiring and ruling 
peoples who could have no part in her republican form 
of government began, Rome ceased to exist as a Repub 
lic and became an Empire. From that point the his 
torian dates the ruin of her government, and the misery 
of her population. When Rome had acquired Egypt 
and Asia Minor with their populations of low consum 
ing power and great tenacity of life, the Roman citizen 
found that he could not compete against them in the 
growing of crops or in other industrial enterprises. 

The Roman of those days was like the Anglo-Saxon 
of today a man of great vitality, requiring excellent 
nurture, the best food and plenty of it. When he came 
into competition with the Asiatic races, people of low 
vitality and with a great tenacity of life human ma 
chines who could subsist upon the least food and per 
form the most work the Roman farmer was destroyed, 
the foundation of power was shattered and the Roman 
Empire passed away. 

When the Roman Republic was established most of 
its people were farmers. Their farms did not average 
more than twelve acres in area, indicating a dense 
rural population. No foreign foe could march through 
that stockade of individual farm owners to the walls 
of Rome. They were successful farmers and prosper 
ous, and they made mighty soldiers. Cincinnatus left 
the plow to lead his victorious legions. This was the 
situation during the early days of the Roman state. 


During the first century of the Christian era centrali 
zation of wealth power revolutionized this simple life 
of the small farm. The lands were absorbed by the 
wealthy; the mines of silver and gold in Spain and 
Greece had been worked out; the old republic disap 
peared and in its place was erected the structure of 
an empire. 

James Bryce says of this period of Roman history: 

"The ostentation of humility which the subtle policy 
of Augustus had conceived, and the jealous hypocrisy 
of Tiberius maintained, was gradually dropped by 
their successors until despotism became at last recog 
nized in principle as the government of the Roman Em 
pire. With an aristocracy decayed, a populace de 
graded, an army no longer recruited from Italy, the 
semblance of liberty that yet survived might be swept 
away with impunity. Republican forms had never 
been known in the provinces at all and the aspect which 
the imperial administration had originally assumed 
there soon reacted on its position in the capital. . . . 
This increased concentration of power was mainly re 
quired by the necessities of frontier defense, for within 
there was more decay than disaffection." 

Great Britain rules over the mightiest of modern 
empires, but the British people have not been enriched 
by her conquests. Study the facts with regard to her 
laboring population. Compare the English factory 
worker of today with the English yeoman of four or 
five hundred years ago compare them in health, in 
vigor, in quickness of eye and hand, in love of life 
in anything you will, and the result will be to the dis 
advantage of the present-day Britisher. 

Where are the people of Europe best off at the 
present time ? Is it in Great Britain mistress of the 
sea and ruler of territory scattered over six continents ? 
Not at all! It is in little Switzerland, Holland, Nor 
way. Where is there the best distribution of wealth, 
the best opportunity for the individual man? Where 
is there the least poverty, misery and distress? It is 


in Switzerland and Norway. It is not in England. 
Her conquests have bestowed no blessings upon her 
people. Two-thirds of them own nothing, while about 
a quarter of a million own all the property of the 
British Islands. 

What blessings has England conferred upon her col 
onies that would justify the adoption of her policy by 
the United States? Her course in Ireland has been 
one of the blackest pages in the history of the world 
a record of starvation and plunder. 

If England will govern Ireland as she has done, what 
right has she to claim that she can govern any country? 
What is there in England s example that can justify us 
in undertaking the same work? 

England began with Ireland. She followed with In 
dia. How has that country fared? In India, the Eng 
lish have made practically no converts to Christianity. 
Neither have the natives learned the English language. 
A great army, paid for by the native governments 
themselves, has been maintained to hold the Indian 
peoples in subjection and to prevent them from secur 
ing modern arms and modern implements of destruc 
tion. Indian raw materials cannot be manufactured 
at home because of the taxes imposed by the British 
authorities. Instead, they are shipped, in English 
ships, to Great Britain ; manufactured and underrated 
by British manufacturers and merchants, and then 
transported back to India and sold to the Indian people. 
As trader, manufacturer, merchant, insurance agent 
and banker, Great Britain has profited, and India has 

What blessing has England conferred upon India? 
No blessings! On the contrary, she has taken away 
the food supply of the native population and left mil 
lions to die of starvation. 

At the time of annexing the Philippines President 
McKinley said that moral reasons compelled us to stay 
in the Philippines, and that we, under God s direction, 
owed a duty to mankind, and more of similar cant. 


Here is what John Morley, the English statesman and 
writer and biographer of Gladstone says with regard 
to England s policy in this same connection: 

"First, you push on into territories where you have 
no business to be and where you promised not to go; 
secondly, your intrusion provokes resentment and, in 
these wild countries, resentment means resistance; 
thirdly, you instantly cry out that the people are rebel 
lious and that their act is rebellion (this in spite of 
your own assurance that you have no intention of 
setting up a permanent sovereignty over them) ; 
fourthly, you send a force to stamp out the rebellion; 
and, fifthly, having spread bloodshed, confusion and 
anarchy, you declare, with eyes uplifted to the heavens, 
that moral reasons force you to stay, for if you were 
to leave, this territory would be left in a condition 
which no civilized power could contemplate with equan 
imity or composure. These are the five stages in the 
Forward Rake s progress." 

There is not a word in that passage that does not 
accord with the excuses given by those American im 
perialists who are in favor of conquering and ruling 
unwilling peoples. 

Does the United States wish to follow the British 
example? From it no money will come into the Treas 
ury for he benefit of the people of the United States. 
The laborers of this land, from whom we raise our 
taxes in the same way that England raises hers by a 
per capita levy on consumption are invited to contri 
bute this taxation to support an army of occupation 
and subsidize ships to carry the trade, in order that 
the people in the outlying territory may be exploited 
by the trusts of the United States. 

There is another reason behind the imperialist pro 
gram that is being followed by the United States. It 
is well when people become restless and dissatisfied 
with the conditions which exist; when the workers of 
a land learn to believe that they are not receiving their 
just share of the products of their toil, to give them 


amusement to distract their attention by distant 
problems to supply them with bread and circuses, as 
in Rome, or to do as England has done begin the kill 
ing of men in some far-off land and then appeal to the 
patriotism of the folks at home. By such means are 
the minds of the people diverted from the pressing 
economic and social problems, the right solution of 
which is essential to the happiness of the toilers of the 

There is no justification in history for the imperial 
course upon which we have entered. Rather, every 
page in history is a warning to us that we desist be 
fore it is too late. And why should we not desist? 
What reason can be given for our imperial policy save 
the desire of the ruling class to plunder and invest? 

The area of this country is great enough, if we would 
maintain free institutions under a republican form 
of government, for in a republic, founded upon the 
principles of equality and universal suffrage, it is es 
sential that the individual voter shall have a knowl 
edge of, and be familiar with, the methods of govern 
ment ; and if the country is so great and the problem^ 
of government are so complicated that it is impossible 
for the individual voter to acquire this familiar knowl 
edge, how is it possible for him to vote intelligently? 
How is it possible for him to know that by his vote he 
is maintaining free institutions? In the past, repub 
lics have been of quite limited area a single city per 
haps with a comparatively small population. The 
founders of this government, recognizing the difficulty 
of maintaining as a unit a republic of extensive pro 
portions, inaugurated the Federal system, a union of 
sovereign states, hoping thereby to extend self-govern 
ment over vast areas and to maintain at the same time 
the purity of republican principles by making each 
sovereign state a free republic. 

For the purpose of unifying a vast area within the 
bounds of a republic it was enacted that the central gov 
ernment, the Government of the United States, should 


be a government of limited powers, a government pos 
sessing only such powers as were conferred upon it by 
the Constitution. All other sovereign rights all other 
powers common to a sovereign were retained by the 
States themselves, or by the people themselves as in 
habitants of the States. If we follow our present 
policy of acquiring tropical countries, where republics 
cannot live, and where free, self-governing people have 
never lived since the world had a history, we overturn 
the theory upon which this government was established. 

The whole theory of our government precludes cer- 
tralization of power; the whole theory of our goverr- 
ment sustains the idea that the United States as a gov 
ernment shall only do those things which cannot be 
done with equal effectiveness by the states or by the 
individual citizens. 

But our Federal system has not accomplished the 
purpose for which it was created; it has not fulfilled 
the expectation of its authors. 

Before we acquire more territory; before we start 
on a policy of imperialism and of conquest, it is our 
duty to inquire whether our area and population are 
not already too great. Centralization went on rapidly 
after the War of the Rebellion. It was hastened by 
the Spanish War. It received an immense impetus 
during the World War. As a result, our people are 
looking to the Government of the United States as the 
source of all power and the channel through which all 
relief must come. The American people have ceased 
to rely on the states. They are forgetting how to rely 
upon themselves. 

This concentration of power in the hands of the 
Federal Government has been followed by encroach 
ments by the Federal courts upon the sovereignty of 
the states and upon the legislative and executive 
branches of the government itself, until a point has 
been reached in our public life where the courts are 
almost supreme. 

Within the past fifty years the wealth of the United 


States, which was once fairly distributed, has been ac 
cumulated in the hands of a few, so that five per cent 
of the people own three-quarters of the nation s wealth, 
while two-thirds of the citizens the workers are 
practically without property. Recent events point un 
mistakably to the fact that the few men who own nearly 
all the wealth have gained control of the machinery of 
public life. They have usurped the functions of gov 
ernment and established a plutocracy. 

Those who favor an imperial policy for the United 
States, who favor a departure from those customs and 
practices that have created the proudest pages in our 
history, say it is manifest destiny. Throughout all 
recorded time manifest destiny has been the murderer 
of men. 

Manifest destiny has caused the strong to rob the 
weak and has reduced the w r eak to slavery. Manifest 
destiny built the feudal castle and supplied the feudal 
lord w r ith his serfs. Manifest destiny compelled re 
publics to go forth and conquer weaker races and to 
subject the conquered people to slavery; to impose tax 
ation against their will, and to inflict upon them forms 
of government which they considered odious. Mani 
fest destiny is the cry of the strong in justification of 
their plunder of the weak. This cry sent forth the 
nations of Europe to divide among them the weaker 
nations of Africa and Asia. 

If we pursue the course to which "manifest des 
tiny" is alluring us; if we annex weaker nations to 
which we cannot apply our system of government; 
if we acquire territory in the Tropics where men can 
not live who are capable of self-government, then re 
publican forms cannot exist in those distant posses 
sions. The vigorous blood, the best blood, the young 
men of our land, will be drawn away to mix with dis 
tant races and to hold them in subjection. Gradually 
the reflex of the conquest and of this tyrannical gov 
ernment will work its effect upon our own people, and 
free institutions will disappear from this land, as well 


as from the land we conquer and undertake to hold 
in subjection. 

Whenever England concludes to go upon an expedi 
tion and plunder some of the weaker nations of the 
world, she makes her first appeal to patriotism. Then, 
step by step, she goes on until she has committed the 
wrong, has transgressed the rights of the natives ; has 
aroused their resistance, and then she declares that the 
flag has been fired on, and that no Englishman musi: 
question the right or wrong of what is being done until 
the enemy is defeated and the country annexed. 

Contemplate the course of every republic in the past 
watch its surrender to the lust of power and the greec 
for wealth ; then turn to our own shores, examine our 
present conduct and see our flag go down in misery 
and in shame. The glory of this republic has been 
that we have offered an asylum to the oppressed and a 
hope to mankind which has been followed wherever 
freedom has flowered throughout the world. Shall we 
stain that record? Shall we abandon history? Shall 
we become one of the robber nations of the world? 

The United States is on the wrong course the course 
that leads to national disgrace and finally to national 
destruction. The wealth lords who desire imperialism 
are not the American people. The jingoes and ex 
ploiters who are out for conquest and for annexation 
are not the American people. They are merely the rep 
resentatives of a ruling class that would use the Ameri 
can people to fill their own money bags. 

We have a task clear and well defined. 

Our duty is to educate and elevate the population we 
already have, and thus perpetuate our institutions. In 
the past every republic has sown the seeds of its final 
destruction by gratifying the desire for conquest and 
for glory. Let us profit by their example and pursue 
a course that will make the masses happy and pros 
perous rather than dazzle and allay the mutterings of 
misery and discontent by the march of armies and the 
glory of conquest. 



The test of a man or of a social system is the way he 
acts in a crisis. The great war was the crisis that 
tested American capitalism and that showed it up for 
what it was a brutal game of profit-making at the 
expense of the people who work and pay. 

When the war broke out in Europe, I knew that the 
American business men would take advantage of the 
emergency in which Europe found herself to charge 
the highest possible price for the worst possible prod 
uct and when, three years later, the United States de 
cided to enter the war I was equally convinced that 
the American business men would rob their own coun 
try of every farthing on which they could lay their 

Not for a moment was I deceived by the glib talk of 
"patriotism" that sounded from every Chamber of 
Commerce and every business office and banking in 
stitution. I had dealt with the armor-plate contracts 
in the United States Senate twenty years before ; I had 
invetigated the sickening details of the beef contracts 
made by the packers with the government during the 
Spanish war. Besides these details and beyond them, I 
knew the whole business system for what it was a de 
vice for enabling the strong to rob the weak; for per 
mitting the capitalist to coin every private or public 
need into profits. 

A reference to the situation which was unearthed in 
the Senate away back in 1897 will give the justification 
of the conclusions I have reached with regard to the 
capitalist system, as such. 

In the closing days of the 54th Congress a question 
arose regarding the cost of armor-plate. After an ex 
haustive discussion, in which great quantities of evi 
dence were submitted, the question was put to a vote 
of the Senate in this form : Shall the Senate vote for 
armor-plate at $300 or $400 per ton? Only twelve 
Senators favored the $400 limit. They were Aldrich, 


Allison, Brice, Cullom, Gibson, Gorman, Hale, Haw- 
ley, McMillan, Murphy, Squire and Wetmore. There 
were 36 votes cast on the other side, of which mine 
was one. 

The evidence seemed perfectly clear. We had sum 
moned experts and ascertained that the cost of labor 
and materials entering into a ton of armor-plate was 
about $160. This figure included a charge for "keep 
ing plant ready for use," a charge for "shop expenses," 
a charge for "office expenses and contingencies," and 
a charge for "administration, superintendence and en 
gineering, beside the charges for "materials in ingots," 
"materials consumed in manufacture" and for "labor." 
Ten per cent was allowed for re-pipings and 10 per cent 
for rejected plates, making a total of about $200 per 
ton. The company claimed a return on the "invest 
ment," but it was proved that profit on the first armor- 
plate contract secured by these companies had been 
equal to the entire cost of the plant. An allowance of 
5 to 10 per cent was made, however, for repairs and 
maintenance, and the total cost of a ton of armor- 
plate was brought up to $225. 

At that figure, the profit to the companies on the 
8,000 tons of armor would be about $600,000 on a $300 
figure. Under the circumstances the Senate voted 36 
to 12 for the $300 figure. 

After Congress had adjourned the Secretary of the 
Navy endeavored to get bids at $300. None was forth 
coming. Instead, representatives of the companies 
waited on him and advised him that they could not 
make the plate for less than $425 a figure which al 
lowed for a profit of about $1,600,000 on the contract. 

An amendment was therefore made to the deficiency 
appropriation bill (July 13, 1897, p. 2,553) allowing 
for amor-plate at that price. 

"Last winter we appropriated money for the purpose 
of buying armor-plate and limited the price to $300 a 
ton. The evidence taken before the Committee on 
Naval Affairs showed conclusively that the plate could 


be made for $250 a ton. The two armor-plate factories, 
being in collusion and having been in collusion as to 
every bid they have had heretofore, as was shown by 
the evidence before the Committee on Naval Affairs, 
refused to make the plate for $300, but insisted that 
they should have $425. 

"Instead of bringing in a proposition to build a 
factory and make the plate ourselves and thus protect 
the interests of the government, the Committee on 
Appropriations propose to accede to the demands of 
these men, who are in a trust to plunder the Treasury, 
and they bring in an amendment to pay them $425, 
thus cowardly surrendering to this admitted combina 
tion. It seems to me too disgraceful to be tolerated." 

(It was shown that the two plants could be dupli 
cated at one or one and a half millions each.) 

These facts and many others that had come to my 
attention during the years of my public life led me to 
look behind the patriotic professions of the business 
leaders their talk about Belgium and the Lusitania, 
and "Humanity" and "Democracy" to see what were 
the real reasons that were leading the United States 
into the war. I did not have to look far before discov 
ering the answer. American banks, like the Morgans, 
and American manufacturers, like the Bethlehem Steel 
Company, had granted large extensions of credit to the 
Allies and, if the Allies lost, they were bankrupt. Fur 
thermore, they saw an unequaled opportunity to 
strengthen their hold in the United States and to run 
a pipeline into the public treasury. The entrance of 
the United States into the war would validate their 
European speculations at the same time that it gave 
them tens of billions in American war contracts. 

By the time these facts were clear in my mind, the 
United States had entered the war. I opposed the step 
with all of the energy that I had, and, after it was 
taken, I said very frankly what I thought about it in 
the following newspaper interview that appeared in the 
Sioux Falls "Argus Leader" of October 6, 1917: 


"There is no excuse for this war." 

"We should back right out of it." 

"We never should have gone into a war to 
help the Schwabs make $40,000,000 per year." 

"This man McAdoo said here that we are in 
the war from principle to protect our right to 
trade on the open sea. Not an American was 
killed except on ammunition boats, and they 
had no right to be there." 

"Sympathy is being extended to Belgium. 
She deserves none. For fifty years Belgium 
robbed the Congo. This made Belgium 
wealthy, but three-fourths of her people did 
not share in this wealth. If she is now indem 
nified it will go to the men who robbed the 
negroes of the Congo." 

"One hundred years ago we fought out the 
alien and sedition law. The party back of it 
failed at the next election. The same struggle 
is on again." 

"People desire to know if they are living in 
the United States or in Russia." 

Since the day that I had refused to take sides with 
Mr. Wilson in his 1912 campaign he had disliked me. 
This statement gave him his chance and within ten 
days of the date on which it appeared I was indicted by 
the Federal Grand Jury at Sioux Falls, S. D. 

The indictment is a curious document. One day, with 
the many others that were issued during the same 
period, it will be historic: 

"The District Court of the United States of America 
for the Southern Division of the District of South Da 
kota in the Eighth Judicial Circuit. 

"At a .stated term of the District Court of the United 
States of America for the Southern Division of the 
District of South Dakota begun and held at the City 
of Sioux Falls, within and for the district and circuit 
aforesaid, on the third Tuesday of October, in the year 


of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seventeen : 
"The Grand jurors of the United States of America, 
good and lawful men, summoned from the body of the 
district aforesaid, then and there being duly empaneled, 
sworn and charged by the court aforesaid, to diligently 
inquire and true presentment make for said district 
of South Dakota, in the name and by the authority of 
the United States of America, upon their oaths, do pre 

"That Richard Franklin Pettigrew, late of Minne- 
haha County, State of South Dakota, in said district 
heretofore, to wit: on or about the sixth day of Octo 
ber, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred 
and seventeen, at and in the County of Minnehaha, 
State of South Dakota, and in the division and district 
aforesaid, and within the exclusive jurisdiction of this 
court, and while and when the United States was at 
war with the Imperial German Government, pursuant 
to a joint resolution of the Congress of the United 
States, approved by the President of the United States 
on April 6, A. D. 1917, did then and there knowingly, 
feloniously and wilfully make, say and utter certain 
false statements, with intent to promote the success of 
the enemy of the United States, that is to say, the Im 
perial German Government, to-wit: that he, the said 
Pettigrew, did then and there wilfully and feloniously 
publicly state and say to one P. F. Leavins, and to other 
persons to the Grand Jurors unknown, and did then 
and there direct and cause to be published, printed and 
circulated through and by means of the Daily Argus 
Leader, a daily newspaper, published in the City of 
Sioux Falls, State of South Dakota, in words and sub 
stance, as follows, that is to say: 

" There is no excuse for this war/ 
We should back right out of it. 
" We never should have gone into a war to 
help the Schwabs make $40,000,000 per year/ 
" This man McAdoo said here that we are 


in the war from principle to protect our right 
to trade on the open sea. Not an American 
was killed except on ammunition boats, and 
they had no right to be there. 

" Sympathy is being extended to Belgium. 
She deserves none. Fifty years ago Belgium 
robbed the Congo. This made Belgium 
wealthy, but three-fourths of her people did 
not share in this wealth. If she is now indem 
nified it will go to the men who robbed the 
negroes of the Congo. 

" One hundred years ago we fought out the 
alien and sedition law. The party back of it 
failed at the next election. The same struggle 
is on again. 

" People desire to know if they are living 
in the United States or in Russia. 

against the peace and dignity of the United States of 
America and contrary to the form, force and effect of 
the statute of the United States in such case made and 

"Count Two. 

"And the Grand Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths 
aforesaid, do further present and say : 

"That Richard Franklin Pettigrew, late of Minne- 
haha County, State of South Dakota, in the said dis 
trict heretofore, to-wit: On the sixth day of October, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and 
seventeen, with force and arms, at and in the County 
of Minnehaha, State of South Dakota, and in the divi 
sion and district aforesaid, and within the exclusive 
jurisdiction of this court, and while and when the 
United States was at war with the Imperial German 
Government, pursuant to a joint resolution of the Con 
gress of the United States, approved by the President 
of the United States on April 6, A. D. 1917, did then 
and there, knowingly, feloniously and wilfully obstruct 


the recruiting and enlistment service of the United 
States, to the injury of the United States, in that he, 
the said Richard Franklin Pettigrew, did then and there 
feloniously publicly state, say and utter to one P. F. 
Leavins, and to other persons to the Grand Jurors un 
known, and did then and there direct and cause to be 
published, printed and circulated through and by means 
of the Daily Argus Leader, a daily newspaper, pub 
lished and circulated in the City of Sioux Falls, State 
of South Dakota, in words and substance, as follows, 
that is to say: 

" There is no excuse for this war/ 

We should back right out of it. 

" We never should have gone into a war to 
help the Schwabs make $40,000,000 per year/ 

" This man McAdop said here that we are 
in the war from principle to protect our right 
to trade on the open sea. Not an American 
was killed except on ammunition boats, and 
they had no right to be there/ 

" Sympathy is being extended to Belgium. 
She deserves none. Fifty years ago Belgium 
robbed the Congo. This made Belgium 
wealthy, but three-fourths of her people did 
not share in this wealth. If she is now indem 
nified it will go to the men who robbed the 
negroes of the Congo/ 

One hundred years ago we fought out the 
alien and sedition law. The party back of it 
failed at the next election; the same struggle 
is on again/ 

" People desire to know if they are living 
in the United States or in Russia/ 

against the peace and dignity of the United States of 
America, and contrary to the form, force and effect 
of the statute of the United States in such case made 
and provided. 


"Count Three. 

"And the Grand Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths 
aforesaid, do further present and say: 

"That Richard Franklin Pettigrew, late of Minne- 
haha County, State of South Dakota, in said district 
heretofore, to-wit: on the sixth day of October, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seven 
teen, at and in the County of Minnehaha, State of South 
Dakota, and in the division and district aforesaid, and 
within the exclusive jurisdiction of this court, and 
while and when the United States was at war with the 
Imperial German Government, pursuant to a joint 
resolution of the Congress of the United States, ap 
proved by the President of the United States on April 
6, A. D. 1917, did then and there feloniously and wil 
fully cause and attempt to cause disloyalty, insubordi 
nation, mutiny and refusal of duty in the military 
forces of the United States, to the injury of the United 
States, in that he, the said Richard Franklin Pettigrew, 
did then and there feloniously publicly state, say and 
utter to one P. F. Leavins, and to other persons to the 
Grand Jurors unknown, and did then and there direct 
and cause to be published, printed and circulated 
through and by means of the Daily Argus Leader, a 
daily newspaper, published and circulated in the City 
of Sioux Falls, State of South Dakota, in words and 
substance, as follows, that is to say : 

" There is no excuse for this war. 
4 We should back right out of it. 
" We never should have gone into a war to 
help the Schwabs make $40,000,000 per year. 7 
" This man McAdop said here that we are 
in the war from principle, to protect our right 
to trade on the open sea. Not an American 
was killed except on ammunition boats, and 
they had no right to be there. 

" Sympathy is being extended to Belgium. 
She deserves none. Fifty years ago Belgium 


robbed the Congo. This made Belgium 
wealthy, but three-fourths of her people did 
not share in this wealth. If she is now in 
demnified it will go to the men who robbed the 
negroes of the Congo. 

" One hundred years ago we fought out the 
alien and sedition law. The party back of it 
failed at the next election. The same struggle 
is on again/ 

" People desire to know if they are living 
in the United States or in Russia/ 

against the peace and dignity of the United States of 
America, and contrary to the form, force and effect 
of the statute of the United States in such case made 
and provided. 


United States Attorney in and for 
the State and District of South Dakota. 


"Names of witnesses sworn and examined before the 
Grand Jurors: P. F. Leavins." 

Was I indicted because I had told a lie or because 
I had told the truth? Was I right in my charges or 
was I wrong? Was it a war for democracy or was 
it a profiteers war? 

I did not have to wait long for the answer to these 
questions. In fact, the answer came with a rapidity 
and with a completeness that was overwhelming. First, 
there was the statement from the Chairman of the 
Federal Reserve (Bank) Board, Mr. Harding; then 
came the revelations with regard to Hog Island and 
to the airplane contracts; later Mr. Wilson, in his St. 
Louis speech, blurted out the frank admission "Of 
course this was a commercial war," and finally there 
appeared the figures showing the profits made by the 
leading industries during the war years. 

For example, there was Bethlehem Steel, Schwab s 


own plant. The profits of this company for 1911, 191 2 
and 1913 averaged $3,075,108 per year. In 1915, the 
profits had jumped to $17,762,813; in 1916 to $43,- 
593,968. -For 1918, the corporation made a profit of 
$57,188,769. Improvements and extensions of the 
plant ate up $24,329,245, while depreciation took $31,- 
510,366. See my indictment. Schwab exceeded forty 
million a year. 

Again, there was du Pont Powder which reports its 
war profits in the following words, which are taken 
from its financial report for 1918. "The stock of the 
E. I. du Pont de Nemours Powder Company, the pre 
decessor of the E. I. du Pont de Nemours Company, 
sold during the early months of the war at $125 per 
share. The share of debenture stock and two shares 
of common stock of E. I. du Pont de Nemours Com 
pany, which were exchanged for the former security, 
are worth in today s market (Dec. 31, 1918) $593, or 
an increase in value of 374 per cent. In the meantime 
(1915-18) the total dividends on the common stock of 
the E. I. du Pont de Nemours Powder Company and 
on the exchanged securities of E. I. du Pont de Ne 
mours Company have amounted to 458 per cent on thB 
par value of the original stock. It is difficult to im 
agine a more satisfactory financial result." 

It is difficult. But it is very easy to picture the 
misery and suffering of war and the great price in ex 
cessive taxation that the purchasers of the du Pont 
product have saddled on the working people in their 
respective countries. 

Then there were the producers of copper. The Ana 
conda Copper Mining Company paid $65,275,000 in 
cash dividends during the years 1915 to 1918. It also 
paid off a funded debt of $15,000,000 in the same 
period, and invested, besides, $54,466,703 in better 
ments. After this outlay, it had, on January 1, 1919, 
a net quick surplus of $39,926,000 as compared with 
$4,688,204 in 1914. The twenty-nine leading copper 
producing companies paid $540,846,855 in cash divi- 


dends during 191", 1916, 1917 and 1918; expended 
$354,704,290 in betterments and improvements during 
1915, 1916 and 1917, and in 1918 their surplus was 
$330,798,593 as compared with a surplus of $96,711,392 
on the same day of 1914. 

The United States Steel Corporation, with a capital 
stock of about $750,000,000, made a profit, in 1916 and 
1917, of $888,931,511. These are figures published by 
the company itself. When the steel Trust was formed 
this capital stock represented little besides water, but 
during two war years the corporation made over 100 
per cent on it. 

These are individual cases. In Senate Document 
259, 65th Congress, Second Session, are published the 
figures showing the profits made by American business 
men during the year 1917. This document contains 
388 pages, and in it are listed, by number, the amount 
and per cent of profits made in 1917 by American busi 
ness men. The results are almost unbelievable. 
Among the industries engaged in manufacturing and 
selling the principal necessaries of life there is not a 
single trade in which at least one concern did not make 
100 per cent or more on the capital stock. 

The profits for 122 meat-packing concerns are re 
ported as follows: 31 concerns made profits for the 
year of less than 25 per cent ; 45 made profits of from 
25 per cent to 50 per cent; 46 made profits of over 50 
per cent; and 22 of over 100 per cent. In this indus 
try, half of the concerns made a profit of more than 
50 per cent and a sixth of over 100 per cent. 

These sound like large returns, but they are out 
distanced by the figure for the 340 bituminous coal pro 
ducers in the Appalachian field. Among these con 
cerns there were only 23 that reported profits of less 
than 25 per cent; 68 reported profits of 25 but less 
than 50 per cent; 79 reported profits of from 50 to 
100 per cent; 135 reported profits of 100 to 500 per 
cent ; 21 reported profits of from r 00 to 1000 per cent, 
and 14 reported profits of over 1000 per cent. Half of 


the concerns in this industry showed profits of more 
than 100 per cent, and one in each ten reported profits 
of more than 500 per cent. 

The whole report is filled with just such figures. 
Profits of under 25 per cent are unusual. Profits of 50 
per cent; 100 per cent, and 500 per cent in a single- 
year are quite common. 

How moderate I had been ! I had talked about our 
entrance into the war enabling Schwab and his asso 
ciates to make forty millions a year. What they had 
actually done was to make billions. I had only half 
stated the case for the profiteers. True to the prin 
ciples of their ferocious system, they had taken advan 
tage of a national emergency to become fabulously rich. 

In July, 1920, I wrote the Pittsburgh Dispatch the 
following letter which they published at once. 

"Sioux Falls, S. Dak., July 24, 1920. 
"The Pittsburgh Dispatch, 
Pittsburgh, Pa. 

"You asked me to answer this question: 
Was the object of the war gained? 

"I suppose my answer must be confined to 
the United States participation in that con 
test. So far as the United States is con 
cerned, the very object and only object for 
which we entered the war has been fully 
gained. We went into the war because the 
great financial and industrial interests cen 
tered in New York, who are the real govern 
ment of the United States, conceived it to be 
for their gain or profit to put the United 
States into the European conflict. They had 
sold billions of dollars worth of material to 
England, Russia, France and Italy, at enor 
mous prices, reaping a marvelous profit. But 
as the war progressed and the demands on the 
part of those nations for credit increased, the 


financiers and controllers of American indus 
try who were furnishing war material, be 
came alarmed, and feared they would not be 
able to collect their claims against these 
European nations who were approaching 
bankruptcy, and they therefore determined to 
put the United States into that controversy, 
and have the United States loan money to the 
European nations, to pay off the obligations 
which they held against them. 

"They, therefore, started an agitation in 
the United States to work up the people of 
this country in favor of going into the war. 
They bought up, or already owned, all the 
great daily newspapers. They ordered and 
paid for preparedness parades in every town 
of consequence in the United States. They 
lied to and deceived the American people with 
exaggerated stories of the German atrocities, 
until they created a war frenzy in this 

"They had been at work on the President 
for months. They had a committee, a secret 
committee, paid by them, planning every 
phase of the war before we went into it. 

"E. P. C. Harding, of the Federal Reserve, 
President of the Bank Board of the United 
States, on March 22, 1917, published the fol 
lowing statement: 

" As banker and creditor, the United States 
would have a place at the peace conference 
table, and be in a much better position to re 
sist any proposed repudiation of debts, FOR 

The above was issued before we entered 


the war, and immediately on our entering the 
war, these corporations rushed through a loan 
to the European countries, not one dollar of 
which ever went to Europe except in the form 
of war material. 

"As a result of the war the United States is 
a debtor and these corporations and their rep 
resentatives, are creditors of the United 
States instead of the European nations. Their 
profits run into the tens of billions. The very 
object for which we went to war has, there 
fore, been fully gained. 

Conclusive proof in the fact we have 16,- 
500 more millionaires than we had before we 
went into the war. R. F. Pettigrew." 

This letter states the whole issue. 

The country was in peril. Men were dying. The 
energies of the nation were being directed to the win 
ning of a victory. The ignorant, unthinking millions 
were being mobilized to make the world safe for de 
mocracy, and the profiteers were piling up their wealth. 

There was no misunderstanding about this matter. 
It was not an accident. 

The profiteers did not and could not stop profiteer 
ing because the system to which they belong is a profit 
eering system. The profiteer is a product of a system 
of society that provides the largest rewards for the 
man who is most successful in robbing his fellows 
of the results of their labor. There was profiteering 
before the war on a small scale. But during the 
war in a critical period the system was tested and it 
proved to be what many of us had thought it a legal 
ized system of robbery ; a method of enabling the rich 
to live off the toil of the poor, and to fatten out of 
their privations. 

The World War showed capitalism at its best anc" 
at its worst. In every one of the great capitalist 
countries engaged in the war, the same kind of profit- 


eering went on. The American profiteers made more 
than their European competitors because there was 
more to make. Everywhere they got what they could. 
Capitalism produced the war. Capitalism profited 
by the war. The utter incompetence; the crass bru 
tality of the system caused it to break in Russia, in 
Germany and Austria. Today it is in full swing, 
stronger than ever in England, France and the United 
States. Will the people who do the work and pro 
duce the wealth ever realize that capital is stolen 
labor and its only function is to steal more labor? 



The war was an affirmation of capitalism. The 
Russian Revolution was the answer of the workers. 
The war wrecked most of the capitalist nations of 
Europe wrecked them financially and economically 
and those that survived the period of hostilities were 
caught in the maelstrom of high prices that followed 
the signing of the Armistice. During more than four 
years the producers of Europe turned from making 
useful things and devoted themselves to making the 
means of destruction. The result was fatal. Europ 
ean capitalism had written its own death sentence. 

The old system broke down first in Russia. The 
revolution began there, and no sooner did it show itself 
than the other capitalist nations the former Allies of 
Russia, turned against her and fought her with 
armies, with a blockade, and with every other device 
that military and diplomatic experts could devise. 

The demands of the Russian people were very simple. 
They asked for work, bread and peace three things 
that the capitalist system in Russia was unable tc 
provide. Hence the Revolution. 

There have been scores of revolutions during the past 
two centuries, and after each one of them that proved 
successful, the people have written a Constitution mod 
eled on the Constitution of the United States a con 
stitution that permitted the economic masters to carry 
on their work of exploitation with impunity. The Rus 
sians abandoned this precedent. 

Instead of writing a political constitution, they did 
a very new and a very wonderful thing they wrote 
an economic constitution, based on the proposition that 
the exploitation of one man by another must cease. 

The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution of 
the United States as an afterthought. It is not in 
the body of the Constitution at all, but takes the form 
of "amendments." The Russian Constitution begins 
with a Bill of Rights. 


The rights enumerated in our Constitution are civil 
rights, free speech, free press, religious freedom, rights 
of accused persons, rights in the case of civil trials. 
The right to be admitted to bail, etc. The Russian Bill 
of Rights begins with a statement of economic prin 
ciples. Chaper 1 of the Bill of Rights declares the 
existence of a Soviet Republic in Russia. Chapter 2 
begins with these words, "Bearing in mind, as its 
fundamental problem, the abolition of exploitation of 
men by men, the entire abolition of the division of the 
people in classes, the suppression of exploiters ; the 
establishment of a Socialist society, and the victory 
of Socialism in all lands, the Third All-Russian Con 
gress of Soviets of Workers , Soldiers and Peasants 
Deputies further resolves: 

"a. for the purpose of realizing the socialization of 
land, all private property in land is abolished, and the 
entire land is declared to be national property and is to 
be apportioned among husbandmen without any com 
pensation to the former owners, in the measures of 
each one s ability to till it. 

"b. all forests, treasures of the earth, and waters of 
general public utility, all implements, whether animate 
or inanimate, model farms and agricultural enterprises, 
are declared to be national property. 

"c. as a first step towards the complete transfer of 
ownership to the Soviet Republic of all factories, mills, 
mines, railways, and other means of production and 
transportation, the Soviet law for the control by work 
men and the establishment of the Supreme Soviet of 
National Economy is hereby confirmed, so as to assure 
the power of the workers over the exploiters. 

"d. with reference to international banking and fi 
nance, the third Congress of Soviets is discussing the 
Soviet decree regarding the annulment of loans made 
by the Government of the Czar, by landowners and the 
bourgeoisie, and it trusts that the Soviet Government 
will firmly follow this course until the final victory of 


the international workers revolt against the oppres 
sion of capital. 

"e. the transfer of all banks into the ownership of 
the Workers and Peasants Government, as one of the 
conditions of the liberation of the toiling masses from 
the yoke of capital, is confirmed. 

"f. universal obligation to work is introduced for the 
purpose of eliminating the parasitic strata of society 
and organizing the economic life of the country." 

All wealth and all the comforts of civilization are the 
products of labor applied to the earth. Man is a land 
animal and his right to the soil is inherent and funda 
mental. The chance to reach the land and the right 
to reach it are as great as the right to use the air and 
the water of the earth. 

The Soviet Constitution allows every person over 
eighteen years of age to vote if they are engaged in 
some useful employment. 

Thus disfranchising the lawyers and the preachers. 

A lawyer spends the first half of his life over the 
past and the last half trying to apply the past to the 
present and lets the future go to hell. 

A preacher spends the first half of his life over the 
past and the last half over the future and lets the pres 
ent go to hell. I am sure neither are engaged in a 
useful occupation. 

Then follows a provision regarding the right to bear 
arms. After it there comes the forceful and splendid 
declaration against capitalist imperialism and in favor 
of a self-governing and self -determining world. Sec 
tions 4 and 5 of Chapter 3 provide : 

"Expressing its absolute resolve to liberate 
mankind from the grip of capital and im 
perialism, which flooded the earth with blood 
in this present most criminal of all w r ars, the 
third Congress of Soviets fully agrees with 
the Soviet Government in its policy of break 
ing secret treaties, of organizing on a wide 


scale the fraternization of the workers and 
peasants of the belligerent armies, and of 
making all efforts to conclude a general demo 
cratic peace without annexations or indem 
nities, upon the basis of the free determina 
tion of the peoples. 

"It is also to this end that the third Con 
gress of Soviets insists upon putting an end 
to the barbarous policy of the bourgeois civ 
ilization which enables the exploiters of a few 
chosen nations to enslave hundreds of millions 
of the toiling population of Asia, of the col 
onies, and of small countries generally." 

Following this protest there is a section (8) setting 
forth the attitude of the Soviet Government toward 
those portions of the former Russian Empire which 
were not yet incorporated into the Soviet Republic : 

"In its effort to create a league free and 
voluntary, and for that reason all the more 
complete and secure of the working classes 
of all the peoples of Russia, the third Con 
gress of Soviets merely establishes the funda 
mental principles of the federation of Russian 
Soviet Republics, leaving to the workers and 
peasants of every people to decide the follow 
ing question at their plenary sessions of their 
Soviets: whether or not they desire to par 
ticipate, and on what basis, in the federal gov 
ernment and other federal Soviet institu 

Conservative thinkers and publicists deride these 
provisions on the ground that the Soviet Government 
has not yet been able to put them fully into practice. 
They jest. Have we been able to enforce the Prohibi 
tion Amendment?, to enfranchise the Negroes in ac 
cordance with the provisions of amendment 14?, to 
guarantee the right of free speech in accordance with 


amendment 1 ?, or to protect American citizens against 
unreasonable search and seizure in accordance with 
amendment 4? To ask these questions, is to answer 

A Bill of Rights presents the aspirations and the 
political ideals of a people nothing more. The ideals 
of our forefathers were of a political nature, as is 
clearly indicated in the Bill of Rights which they drew 
up. In the same way, the ideals of the Russian work 
ers are of an economic nature, as is clearly indicated 
by the Bill of Rights which they have drawn up. 

The times have changed since the Constitutional 
Convention met in 1787. Then men were striving for 
political freedom. Now they are seeking economic 
emancipation. It is all part of the same struggle for 
liberty, but the new times have called forth new ideals. 
The Russian Bill of Rights is a new step and a long step 
in the direction of freedom. 

There were nearly 170 millions of people in Russia 
when the war began in 1914. After three years of 
bloody struggle they demanded work, bread and peace, 
and they proceeded to get these things in the only way 
that the workers will ever get them from the masters 
by taking them. The beneficiaries of privilege will 
not yield unless they are compelled to by force of cir 
cumstances that are too strong for them to control. 
The embodiment of that force is the organized will of 
the people who do the worlds work. 

The Russian Revolution is the greatest event of our 
times. It marks the beginning of the epoch when the 
working people will assume the task of directing and 
controlling industry. It blazes a path into this un 
known country, where the workers of the world are 
destined to take from their exploiters the right to con 
trol and direct the economic affairs of the community. 



The war has just begun. I said that when the Arm 
istice terms were published and when I read the Treaty 
and the League Covenant I felt more than ever con 
vinced of the justice of my conclusion. The Treaty of 
Versailles is merely an armistice a suspension of hos 
tilities, while the combatants get their wind. There 
is a war in every chapter of the Treaty and in every 
section of the League Covenant ; war all over the world ; 
war without end so long as the conditions endure which 
produce these documents. The League of Nations is a 
League to perpetuate war. I do not charge that its 
sponsors intended this, though I have sufficient respect 
for the intellectual ability of men like Balfour and 
Lloyd George, Makino and Orlando to believe that they 
knew quite well what they were about. But whether 
by intention or accident, the "Big Five * presented the 
world with two documents, the attempted enforcement 
of which is destined to bathe the earth in blood and 
wipe out what remains of "western civilization." 

The advocates of the League of Nations claim for 
it that it will end war. "If we do not adopt it," says 
Mr. Wilson, "we will break the heart of the world." If 
we do adopt it, we shall help to bleed the western world 
white in the series of frightful international struggles 
that will follow upon any attempt to enforce the Treaty 
and the League Covenant as they are written. 

Let me state, briefly, my reasons for believing that 
the League of Nations is a War League rather than a 
Peace League. 

1. The League of Nations is not a league of all na 
tions. On the contrary, three kinds of nations are 
deliberately excluded from it, the Socialist nations 
like Russia ; the enemy nations, like Germany ; and the 
"undeveloped nations," like Mexico. The "Big Five" 
who wrote the Armistice Terms, the Peace Treaty and 
the League Covenant were Great Britain, France, Italy, 
Japan and the United States. These are the five great 


capitalist empires of the world. They are also the 
five leaders among the allied nations. The League is 
therefore a Holy Alliance of capitalist empires against 
socialist states ; a League of the Allies against the Cen 
tral Powers ; a League of the five great exploiting na 
tions of the world against those whom they propose to 
rob. This situation creates a series of alignments any 
one of which may lead to an outbreak at almost any 

2. On the one hand, there is the alignment against 
Russia. Ever since the Revolution of 1917, the Allies 
have done everything in their power to destroy the 
government of Russia. They have sent their armies 
against her at Vladivostock and at Archangel; they 
have attacked her with their fleets on the Black Sea 
and in the Baltic; they have financed and equipped 
those like Yudenich, Kolchak, Denikine and Wrangle 
who were in rebellion against the established govern 
ment of Russia; they have financed and equipped the 
Ukranians, the Finns and the Poles, on condition that 
they should make war on Russia; they have estab 
lished a "sanitary cordon" of border states in an effort 
to cut Russia off from the rest of Europe; they have 
maintained a blockade which has resulted in the death, 
by starvation and by disease, of Russian men, women 
and children. During three long years, the Allies have 
carried on these activities without succeeding in forc 
ing a declaration of war from Russia. 

The Russian people are very patient. They had 
need of patience under the Czars, but there is a limit 
to everything. There are a hundred and fifty million 
of Russians. These people feel bitter against the cap 
italist governments that have attacked and blockaded 
them. They have an army the largest now in Europe, 
if report speaks true. Some day that army will come 
into action against the armies of the Allies come with 
the fervor and ardor of revolution, and when it comes, 
Europe will witness another terrible massacre and 
another fearful destruction of wealth. 


3. Then, there are the enemy countries defeated 
in the great war, stripped of their navies and of their 
merchant ships ; of their colonies ; of their investments 
in foreign countries; of their coal and iron; dismem 
bered, saddled with heavy indemnities in addition to 
their onerous taxes. These enemy countries are suf 
fering under the smart of a terrible military defeat. 
But more than that, after revolting and driving out 
their despotic rulers they have been subjected to an 
economic punishment more frightful than any that has 
ever been administered in modern times. The gov 
erning classes feel this ; the people feel it, and they are 
all ready, at the first opportunity, to rush to arms in 
vindication of their international position and of their 
national rights, which they believe were grossly vio 
lated by the Treaty of Versailles. No opportunity was 
lost; no effort was spared to humiliate the defeated 
and to visit upon them a drastic economic punishment. 
The vanquished and humiliated are preparing to come 
back, and the Allied Nations know it. 

4. There are the exploited countries; the "unde 
veloped" portions of the earth; the promising invest 
ment field ; the good markets Mexico, India, Korea, 
Egypt, Persia, China and the others. Africa has been 
under the heel of Western business men for genera 
tions. The same thing is true of India and other por 
tions of Western and Southern Asia. These peoples, 
numbering hundreds of millions, have been kept in ig 
norance and held in bondage, while the British, Ger 
man, French, Belgian and other traders and investors 
made free with their property and their lives. In the 
Belgian Congo, the black men were treated with in 
describable cruelty; the people of India, after a cen 
tury and a half of British rule, are almost wholly 
illiterate, while their industries have been deliberately 
curtailed in order that the Indian market might be 
open for British manufacturers. Mexico has been vic 
timized again and again by the United States. Hayti, 
Santo Domingo and Nicaragua have felt the weight 


of America s imperial fist. Under the Treaty, with its 
"Mandates" and its guarantees of territorial integrity, 
these peoples, comprising the bulk of the world s popu 
lations, are to be continued in "tutelage" while^llied 
Capitalists plunder and allied governments tax and kill. 

The Baku Conference of the Eastern People (Sep 
tember, 1920) is the beginning of an organized protest 
that challenges the right of the west to continue its 
exploitation of the East. India is aflame with revolt, 
and the smaller eastern countries are awaiting the sig 
nal to begin a holy war, a religious crusade, against the 
domination of Western Civilization. Whether the pro 
posed expulsion of the Sultan from Europe will start 
the conflagration, or whether some other spark will 
set it off remains to be seen. But the spirit of liberation 
is abroad in the earth, and any group of nations that 
seeks, with or without a covenant, to continue a system 
of virtual slavery, is heading for bitter and terrible 

5. Finally, there is an item of immense significance. 
The "Big Five" are five capitalist empires, each one of 
which is struggling for markets and for investment op 
portunities. Britain and Germany fought the recent 
war because Germany challenged Britain s economic 
supremacy. Today each of the Big Five is busy with 
just such an economic battle as that which preceded the 
war of 1914. British and American oil interests are in 
open conflict; Japan is seeking to exclude western 
bankers from the Chinese field; France and Italy are 
bitter rivals for the control of the Mediterranean; 
Britain and France are contending for the resources 
of Central Europe and of the near East. Besides that, 
it must not be forgotten that naval and military ap 
propriations are larger among the Big Five than they 
were before the world war. 

Any one of these issues may lead to war between 
the Allies and Russia ; between the Allies and the Cen 
tral Powers; between the Allies and the victims of 
their exploitation ; between the Allies themselves. One 


or more of them is sure to result in war within a decade, 
if the Treaty and the League Covenant are enforced. 
The League of Nations is a League of War ; its present 
form, its very existence spells war. 

I have another reason for insisting that the League 
will make for war rather than for peace a reason 
growing out of the League s own record. During its 
brief existence, the League has witnessed more than 
a score of wars in Europe, Africa, and in Asia. These 
wars have been participated in by Great Britain, 
France, Italy and Japan the leading exponents of the 
League. France has sent men and money to back Po 
land and to uphold General Wrangle s insurrection 
against the Russian Government, while her armies are 
busy conquering and subjugating Syria. Great Bri 
tain is fighting in Ireland and in Mesopotamia. Spain, 
France and Italy all are fighting in North Africa, and 
Thrace is being ravaged by contending armies. 

Since the League came into being, Europe has blazed 
with war. The League is not a war preventor, but a 
war maker. 

So much for the character and history of the League. 
Now as to its purposes. These are three in number: 

1. To crush out Socialism. 

2. To safeguard the British Empire. 

3. To unite the exploiters against the exploited. 

The relation of the League and of its principal mem 
bers toward Soviet Russia is a sufficient guarantee of 
the first point. The position of the British Empire, 
combined with the working of Article X of the League 
Covenant establishes the second. 

British statesmen insisted that they desired nothing 
as a result of the war. As things turned out, however, 
they received over two million square miles, including 
important possessions in East Africa, Mesopotamia, 
the lands bordering the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, 
Persia, Thibet, and the German possessions in the 
South Pacific. This gives the British Empire control 
over something like a third of the earth, including a 


continuous stretch of territory from the Cape of Good 
Hope to Cairo and from Cairo to Bengal. These things 
are guaranteed under the Treaty, and Articlce X of the 
Covenant provides that : "The members of the League 
undertake to respect and preserve against external 
aggression, the territorial integrity and existing politi 
cal independence of all members of the League." This 
clause commits all members of the League to back the 
British Empire in its efforts to hold hundreds of mil 
lions of human beings in subjection. 

The original Holy Alliance organized in 1815 be 
tween Austria, Russia, Prussia and France, carried a 
mutual guarantee to protect from internal disturbances 
like the French Revolution, the members of the Alli 
ance. This new Alliance guarantees its members 
against the possible loss of their colonies and posses 
sions by any form of external oppression. They bind 
each other to help hold what they have stolen in this 
and previous wars. According to the original plan, 
the United States was to furnish the men and the 
money necessary to carry this Covenant into effect. 

The League is intended to organize and unite the 
exploiter nations. Under Covenant provisions, the ex 
ploited nations have no rights that the exploiters are 
bound to respect. Japanese troops will remain in 
Korea; British rule stays in India and American Ma 
rines hold their ground in Hayti. The robbers will 
unite and plunder their victims in severalty. 

Thus, the League is intended, not to secure freedom 
and self-determination, but to perpetuate autocracy 
and the rule of force of which the leading members 
of the league are the chief exponents. 

The Treaty and the League Covenant intensify every 
cause that led up to the world war. International 
Capitalism, with its economic rivalries and commercial 
struggles is perpetuated and consecrated; the exploi 
tation of the weak by the rich and the strong is pro 
vided for ; out of such a situation there can come noth 
ing less than revolution and a struggle for indepen- 


dence on the one hand and the bitterest conflicts be 
tween the members of the League on the other. The 
League will perpetuate, will compel war. It makes 
peace unthinkable ; impossible. It condemns the world 
to generations of blood-letting and destruction. The 
League is a logical product of the forces that made the 
last war and will prove an instrument of immense 
value in bringing about the next one. 



The World War gave the business interests the op 
portunity for which they had been waiting. At the 
same time that they made millions they were able to 
come out in the open as the controlling force in Ameri 
can public life. Their answer to the Russian Revolu 
tion revealed their international stand. The events 
surrounding the election of 1920 showed how far they 
were ready to go in dominating the lives of the Ameri 
can people. 

I spent the winter of 1919-1920 in Washington and 
New York, where I paid close attention to the business 
situation. I was particularly interested in the question 
as to whether a panic was going to be ordered by the 
New York bankers. 

The masters of business life discussed the high cost 
of living, in other words, the cost of food and raw ma 
terial, and how to reduce prices. They knew that the 
inflation of the currency was what had increased the 
price of all articles not controlled by the trusts, and they 
discussed the question of contracting the volume of 
money, for we have in circulation in the United States 
today nearly fifty-nine dollars per capita as against 
seventeen dollars in 1880. But the issue of money 
under the present system is very profitable to the bank 
ers. They had made more than a billion out of the 
issue of money since the United States went into the 
war, and had inflated the currency, since the present 
bank act w r ent into effect, by several billions of dollars. 
The bankers disliked to contract the currency because 
the issue of money is so profitable, and they finally hit 
upon another method and said, "We will contract the 

There were two fields in which it was possible to 
contract credit. One was the field of big business. The 
other was the. field of agriculture. A contraction of 
credit to big business would have hit manufacturers 
and merchants (themselves). A contraction of agri- 


cultural credits, on the other hand, would hit only the 
farmers who are unorganized and in no position to 
strike back. A decision was therefore made to curtail 
credit by compelling all the banks to restrict their loans 
in the farm-producing area of the United States. 

After the whole matter had been argued through, an 
order was sent out from New York to all of the reserve 
banks throughout the United States to restrict their 
loans and to refuse credit on all the products of human 
toil not controlled by the combinations. The result has 
been, of course, the reduction in the price of everything 
that is produced on the farm. Meat, corn, cotton, pats 
and hay are all far below their spring selling prices, 
not because crops were unusually large, but because the 
farmers were compelled to sell all of their crops in the 
market at the same time. They were compelled to sell 
because they could not borrow. They would not bor 
row, not because money was scarce there is more 
money in the country than at any time in its history 
but because the banks refused it to the farmers. Dur 
ing this same time loans were made to Norway, Bel 
gium, France. There was plenty of money for that, but 
food prices must come down, and the way to bring 
them down was to compel the farmers to sell by with 
drawing all credits and calling all existing loans. 

While American farmers were being refused credit, 
the Bankers Club, which is the government of the 
United States, entered into a "consortium" with the 
bankers of England, France and Japan to loan money 
to China for railroad concessions and concessions of 
minerals and coal. Vanderlip and Lamont were in 
China all through April getting these concessions. This 
contract between the United States, England, France 
and Japan is a written contract and the Secretary of 
State is a party to it ; and yet the people of the United 
States are refused access to it. 

This same club in New York, composed of the bank 
ers and the great industries, discussed the question of 
the cost of labor. They said, "Labor is clamoring for 


more pay because of the high cost of living. We can 
reduce the cost of living by withdrawing credit and 
robbing the farmers, but we must also reduce wages," 
and they discussed for weeks the question of importing 
Chinese and Japanese laborers from the Orient. Their 
newspapers began to agitate the question, feeling out 
the public, but the opposition was so strong against 
taking down the bars and importing coolie labor that 
they turned their attention to Europe and made ar 
rangements for the importation of laborers from the 
starving centers of Europe at wages that would send 
an American laborer to the poorhouse. These Euro 
peans are now coming in at the rate of 100,000 a month. 
It is contract labor, in violation of the laws of the 
United States. 

Unless American wages were reduced, it would be 
impossible for American manufacturers to compete in 
foreign markets, and unless food prices came down, 
wages could not be reduced without lowering efficiency. 
Therefore, the food prices came down and the farmers 
stood the loss, and this was done on the eve of an elec 
tion. In years gone by the business interests would 
not have dared to operate so openly. That they do it 
now is the proof of their power, and of the contempt in 
which they hold the American people. 

So much for the events which preceded the election. 
It was a period of open-handed assumption of power by 
the business interests. Now for the campaign itself. 

My interests were centered on the Republican cam 
paign because it was evident from the start that the 
Republicans were destined to win. 

The Republican Convention was a very grand affair- 
I arrived in Chicago on the second and stayed until the 
twelfth of June, and saw the whole operation. I had a 
friend who has been a member of the Republican Na 
tional Convention for forty years, and has been one of 
the leaders in every convention, and he reported each 
morning between one and two o clock the result of 
every conference, so that I knew in advance just what 


the convention was going to do the next day; and it 
always functioned according to program. 

The representatives of the great interests arrived 
in a body and took charge of the convention from the 
start. It is the first time they have ever done this. 
There was Gary, head of the Steel Corporation; Davi- 
son and Lamont of Morgan & Co. ; F. H. Allen of Lee 
Higginson & Co. ; Atterbury, vice-president of the Penn 
sylvania Railroad, and Dick Mellen, of Pittsburgh, 
whose family is, I suppose next to Rockefeller the 
richest in America. Then there were George Baker 
and Frank Vanderlip and Daniel G. Reid. These men 
took no chances. They went to Chicago, wrote the 
platform, and nominated the candidate. They were 
willing to take Lowden or Wood, but Borah said that 
he would bolt the convention if they named either one 
of them. They were holding Knox and Hoover, Har 
ding and Senator Watson of Indiana in reserve, and 
were willing to take any one of them, but they did not 
want a bolt in the party. 

These financiers are the men who put the United 
States into the European war. They furnished the 
money to pay for preparedness parades all over the 
country ; they are out for empire- They wanted to put 
a plank into the platform providing for a league of 
nations, or, rather, the Versailles Treaty with mild 
reservations, and they had prepared such a plank and 
they would have adopted it, but Borah and Johnson 
went before the committee and told them they would 
bolt if they put that plank into the platform. That, of 
course, destroyed Knox s chances, for he had agreed in 
advance that he would stand by and carry out such a 
plank if he were nominated; but without the plank 
these men would not trust Knox, and that ended his 
chance for the nomination. 

They then canvassed Sproul of Pennsylvania, but 
Penrose wired that he would not stand for Sproul, who 
was trying to administer his political estate before he 
was dead. They finally concluded that Harding was the 


man least objectionable and most certain to stand right 
on their plans to exploit the rest of the world. In other 
words, Harding was from Ohio which they must carry 
in order to win and he was ,sound on the question of the 
commercial conquest of the earth by the United States. 

The business interests named Harding. They would 
have preferred a stronger man Knox of Pennsylvania 
was the favorite but Harding was more available, so 
Harding was chosen. 

Just a word as to the record of this latest President 
of "the greatest community on earth," as published in 
the "Searchlight," after a careful study of his six years 
in the Senate: 

"Harding probably ranks below every other Senator 
in initiative, activity and accomplishment^ 

"Neither his friends nor his enemies can connect his 
name with a single outstanding issue, good or bad. 

"He neither introduced nor championed even one big 
constructive measure. 

"He was absent or dodged 1,170 roll calls and quorum 

"All the bills and resolutions he introduced were local 
or private in character, except eight. None of these 
eight was of big importance. 

"In all matters of politics, economics and spoils he 
was a follower of the Old Guard bosses Penrose, 
Smoot and Lodge. 

"On issues at all important he voted with the pro 
gressive group only nine times in six years. 

"He has voted for the liquor interests thirty times, 
and against them only twice. 

"He favored woman suffrage after much reluctance 
and indecision. 

"He voted for the Cummins Railroad Bill, with its 
anti-strike provision. 

"He stood consistently against conservation, voted 
for the vicious Shields water power bill several times. 

"On every important test between capital and labor, 
he voted with capital. 


"He opposed public ownership in every form. 

"On revenue measures, he voted against every 
amendment to increase the tax upon profiteering and 
large incomes. 

"He voted and spoke for conscription as a permanent 

"He opposed disarmament for all nations." 

Harding never read the Declaration of Indepen 
dence and never heard of Thomas Jefferson. Discuss 
ing Philippine independence January 28, 1916, Harding 
said : Independence was not the inspiration of the War 
of the Revolution. . . . The American Republic never 
gave a thought to the "consent of the governed"; 
never gave a thought to the violation of "inalienable 
rights" ... I know what is in our hearts. . . . And 
if we are to go into the Orient for an expansion of com 
merce and trade, I fancy that the possession of these 
rich islands will be very much to our advantage. 

The big bankers, who dominate our foreign, as they 
dominate our domestic policy, have registered their full 
determination to take the billions they made out of the 
war as profiteers and reach out for the oil and iron and 
coal of the world and, by concessions and the grant of 
privileges, exploit the great natural resources not only 
of North and South America, but of Asia and Africa. 
Vanderlip and Lamont spent all of April and half of 
May in China and Japan, securing concessions for build 
ing railroads and the right to develop the great coal, 
oil and iron deposits of that country. They had their 
agents also in Siberia. Their program is to make a 
contract with Mexico they are going to call it a treaty 
by which they can exploit all the resources of Mex 
ico. If Mexico will not make the treaty, after Harding 
is inaugurated, our army will march into that country. 
They will proceed at once to build a bigger navy than 
England has, and they are fully determined to use the 
resources of the navy of the United States to carry out 
their imperial policy. They proposed to continue to ex 
ploit the laborers of this country and force what they 


plunder from labor on to the other nations of the world 
by commercial regulations and concessions, which are 
to be backed up by the full force of the army and the 
navy of the United States. 

We are no longer a republic or democracy or any 
semblance of either one. The entrance of the United 
States into the great war extinguished all possibilities 
in that direction. We are a feudal aristocracy with 
artificial persons for our feudal lords, the most cruel 
form of society it is possible to imagine. The old feudal 
aristocracy was composed of natural persons with some 
human sympathy; but our feudal lords have none of 
these attributes. 

The situation leads me to repeat what I cannot say 
too often that capital is stolen labor and its only func 
tion-is to steal more labor. This has been true since 
Lincoln pointed it out more than seventy years ago, 
and it is equally true today when the power in the 
hands of the capitalists is greater than it has been at 
any time in history. 

Back of all this program are the voters of the United 
States. Thrilled by the World War; terrified by the 
"Bolshevist Menace," as it has been described by the 
press; lukewarm on the question of mixing up in the 
chaos of European politics and finance ; stimulated and, 
at the same time, reassured by four years of extraordi 
nary "prosperity," sixteen millions of voters went to 
the polls on November 2, 1920, and cast their votes for 
Harding, the nominee of Big Business the acceptable 
and accepted representative of the most sinister forces 
in American public life. Harding s plurality of seven 
millions unprecedented in presidential elections, gives 
the Republican party an assurance of at least eight 
years of unquestioned power. 

The Great War is over. Peace has been restored. 
Sanity is .supposed to have replaced the hysteria of war 
frenzy. Yet Harding, spokesman of plutocratic imperi 
alism, is in the White House, while Debs, the champion 
of economic emancipation, is in the Atlanta penitentiary. 



The people of the United States are playing with fire. 
They are experimenting with an unworkable system of 
social organization a system that has been tried re 
peatedly during the past three or four thousand years, 
and that has destroyed civilization as often as it has 
been tried. The form of the experiments has been dif 
ferent, but their essential features remain the same. 

Let me review these features briefly, because they lie 
at the foundation of our whole public life. 

First, there is the concentration of wealth in the 
hands of a few men "self-made," "irresponsible" 
owing no allegiance to anything save our own des 
tinies and their own ambitions. These wealth-lords, or 
plutocrats, ruling by virtue of their wealth, have been 
the bane of every great civilization from Assyria and 
Egypt to Rome, Spain and Great Britain. 

Two per cent of the people of the United States own 
sixty per cent of the property of the United States. 
Yet they produced none of it. By legislation, by craft 
and cunning, by control of Congress and the courts, 
they took to themselves what others produced. Sixty- 
six per cent of the people of the United States own five 
per cent of the property of the United States. Yet they 
produced all of the wealth and have none of it. Why 
do not the producers of this wealth have what they pro 
duce ? Because the making of the laws and the control 
of the courts is in the hands of those who do not work, 
and this has been true from the beginning of the Gov 
ernment. The convention which framed the Constitu 
tion of the United States was composed of fifty-five 
members. A majority were lawyers not one farmer, 
mechanic or laborer. Forty owned Revolutionary Scrip. 
Fourteen were land speculators. Twenty-four were 
money-lenders. Eleven were merchants. Fifteen were 
slave-holders. They made a Constitution to protect the 
rights of property and not the rights of man, and, ever 
since, Congress has been controlled by the property 


owner, and has framed laws in their interests and their 
interests only, and always refused to frame any laws in 
the interest of those who produce all the wealth and 
have none of it. 

In the second place, the wealth-owning class, because 
of its wealth-power and its hold on the machinery of 
society, takes a tribute from the mass of the workers. 
The character of this tribute varies from age to age- 
At bottom it is the same. The owner of wealth, be 
cause he possesses the things without which the masses 
would starve, compels them to pay him a return for 
their use. In Egypt and in feudal Europe, the masters 
owned land and exacted rent. Here, in the United 
States, the masters own the forests, mines, factories, 
railroads, banks and insurance companies. These things 
they own through the instrumentality of corporations 
and therefore their income takes the form of dividends 
on stocks and of interest on bonds. The form is imma 
terial. The fact remains that the few whether as 
landlords or capitalists hold the choice spots of the 
earth, and the many, for the privilege of enjoying these 
choice spots, pay tribute to the few who own them. 

These masses the workers the producers are re 
warded with the least possible amount upon which they 
are willing to go on working and reproducing their kind. 
In old times they were chattel slaves; today they are 
wage slaves. Formerly, their masters took all of their 
product and guaranteed them a living. Now, a part of 
the product goes to the workers, but they must keep 

In the past the work done by the slave for his mas 
ter kept the master in luxury and enabled him to live 
a life of ease, and, if he desired, of dissipation and 
waste. Today the rent, interest and dividends paid by 
the workers to the owners of lands, bonds and stocks 
enables these owners to live in luxury, in idleness and, 
if they desire, in wasteful dissipation. The owners of 
American wealth, according to the returns published 
by the Internal Revenue office, state on their income 


tax blanks that their incomes amount to tens and hun 
dreds of thousands, to millions and tens of millions of 
dollars each year. The most skilled of the workers 
seldom make over $100 a week with steady work, and 
seven-eighths of them make less than $50 a week. 

Furthermore, when hard times come, it is the worker 
who goes on the street and starves. The bondholder 
continues to draw his interest and the stockholder con 
tinues to receive his dividend. The bondholder, under 
the law, can insist upon his interest. The corporations 
take care of the stockholder long after the workers 
have begun to walk the streets looking for a chance 
to work. 

These owners, freed from the necessity for labor, 
develop rapidly into a leisure class, while the workers, 
struggling for existence, constitute a labor class. The 
leisure class controls the surplus wealth of the com 
munity. Out of this surplus it feeds, dresses and houses 
itself; buys privileges, corrupts the machinery of the 
state; invests in foreign exploiting opportunities; 
struggles with the leisure classes of other countries 
for the chance to exploit and rob. 

Among the masses, who are laboring and producing 
without getting the value of their product, there is 
poverty and want. Diseases waste and ravage ; vitality 
is sapped; energy deteriorates. Perhaps nowhere in 
the modern world is the picture more clearly presented 
than among the exploited British factory workers dur 
ing the forty or fifty years preceding the World War. 
If the soldiers on the field were common fodder, the 
men and women of Lancashire and Birmingham were 
factory fodder. While the leisure class of Britain was 
shooting grouse and chasing foxes across the ploughed 
land, the men and women and children belonging to the 
working masses were huddled in garrets and cellars 
the prey of tuberculosis, rickets, anemia and want. 

The leisure class, having nothing better to do, plays 
at ducks and drakes with international affairs, plunges 
the country into economic and military conflicts, heaps 


up great debts, and wastes its own and the country s 
resources, while the workers do the mass-fighting, pay 
the taxes and suffer from starvation and disease. Be 
tween the two classes there springs up hate, class 
conflict and perpetual dissension. It was not for noth 
ing that Alexander Hamilton wrote, "The various and 
unequal distribution of wealth." 

When I entered the public life of the United States, 
the economic ruling class was just stepping into power. 
There was no leisure class to speak of. There was still 
an abundance of free land for the workers. The Amer 
ica that I knew in my young manhood was still talking, 
in all sincerity, about "government of, by and for the 
people." In the brief period of my own public experi 
ence we have adopted a species of feudalism more 
unhuman and more vicious than any of which history 
bears a record a feudalism of artificial persons (cor 
porations) using their power to exploit the workers in 
the interest of the parasites. Within my lifetime we 
have become a government of corporations whose at 
torneys are in the House and Senate and throughout 
the bureaus and departments of the Government, look 
ing out for the interests of those who pay them their 
retaining fees. 

This is capitalism the control of the machinery of 
society in the interests of those who own its wealth. 
This was feudalism in France and slavery in Rome and 
in Assyria. This is the system of dividing the commu 
nity into two classes owners and producers and of 
rewaiding the owners at the expense of the producers. 
As I read history, this method of social organization 
has had and can have only one result. The leisure 
class rots out and drops to pieces; the workers starve 
and suffer and die. Sometimes they revolt particu 
larly in the later years. Generally, they are too weak 
and too ignorant to do anything more than labor and 

In the preceding pages I have tried to show how this 
system was getting its grip on the United States. Out 


of my own experience in public life I have indicated the 
activity of the land-grabbers, the bankers, the money- 
ring, the beneficiaries of the tariff, the trust magnates, 
the railroad operators and the other masters of the 
economic world. In Congress and out, year by year, 
they have taken possession of the country s best re 
sources, robbed the people through monopoly, ex 
ploited and plundered the workers by means of low 
wages and high prices. Then, with their ill-gotten 
gains, they have invaded other lands Cuba, Porto 
Rico, the Philippines, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, 
Nicaragua and Haiti and there they have repeated the 
same process, by fair means or foul, gaining possession 
of the timber, oil, copper and iron, and then forcing 
the natives to produce these commodities for a pittance 
wage. Behind them, in these ventures, the plutocrats 
had the army and navy of the United States to be used 
when necessary, as they were used against Spain, the 
Philippines, the Mexicans, the Haitians and the rest. 
Meanwhile, at home, through the subsidy of political 
parties through the passage of legislation through 
the courts through the private control or, where 
necessary, through the open purchase of coercion of 
public men, the interests have taken possession of the 
government of the United States, shaping its institu 
tions, and directing its policies along lines calculated to 
yield the largest net returns to the plutocracy. 

The last move in this direction involved the entrance 
of the United States into the World War ; the conscrip 
tion of men ; the dispatch of an army to the battlefields 
of Europe; the suppression of free speech and a free 
press; search, seizure, indictment, trial, imprisonment 
and the deportation of men and women in open and 
flagrant violation of constitutional guarantees and long- 
established precedent. 

The Wilson administration and the Supreme Court 
have demonstrated and established that in time of war 
the Constitution, with all its amendments, is but a 
scrap of paper and of no force and effect. Hereafter, 


all that the people who do the work and produce the 
wealth have to do it to unite and get control of the 
Congress and other branches of the government and 
declare war on some country any country and at 
once proceed to enact laws in total disregard of the 
Constitution, and all its guarantees, and arrest and 
imprison all who disagree or protest. It is well for 
the people who toil to make a note of this fact. 

No man who has regard for the welfare of this 
country, or who is concerned for its future, can fail to 
be alarmed at the course that it has followed, and is 
still following, along the road that leads to empire and 
imperial institutions. There may yet be time, but un 
less we turn back soon, it will be too late. It behooves 
the sixty-six per cent of our people to take possession 
of their Government and enact laws so that every man 
shall have all he produces. Capital is stolen labor, and 
its only function is to steal more labor. 



Perhaps I can say more effectively what I tried to 
write in the last chapter by means of an allegory which 
tells, in simple form, the story of our blunders. 

One hundred years ago a colony of English farm 
laborers, one hundred in number, composed of men, 
women and children old and young chartered a 
ship and started for Australia. They were inspired to 
go by the promise of free land they and their an 
cestors having been tenants upon an English estate. 

The ship was a sailing ship and the colonists loaded 
it with their second-hand furniture, second-hand bed 
ding and second-hand farm implements. They also 
obtained some seeds from a charitable person who 
was willing to await the success of the colony for the 
return of his investment ; and, with the seeds and agri 
cultural implements, they started from England for 
Australia by way of Cape Horn. The voyage across 
the Atlantic was successfully made; the cape was 
rounded and the ship stretched her sails as she moved 
away into the broad Pacific. The colonist, who knew 
little of sailing routes soon got off from the ordinary 
track of vessels and, when well out in the Pacific Ocean, 
ran their ship aground upon a sunken reef which stove 
a hole in the bottom and placed it beyond repair. 

Consternation prevailed among the passengers. 
Some fainted. Others ran up and down the decks, 
nearly insane from fear. The cooler heads soon re 
stored order however, and all hands were organized 
to save what they could out of the wreck. When it 
became evident that the ship was in no immediate dan 
ger of sinking, the faint-hearted regained courage and 
all went to work with a will. 

There were two young men healthy and strong 
who seemed to take no interest in the salvage plans, 
but busied themselves with trying to release from its 
lashings the only life-boat upon the ship a very small 
boat, which was all that the colonists, out of their 
meagre funds, could afford. 


A study of the situation showed the leaders of the 
party that their condition was by no means hopeless. 
The ship did not fill rapidly and about ten miles south 
of the wreck, land could be made out. There was no 
wind, the sea was calm. Their one boat was too small 
to be of any great use, so the voyagers decided to builc 
a raft out of the ship and try to reach the land south 
of them. So they all started to work with the excep 
tion of the two young men constructed their raft on 
the leeward side of the ship and began loading it with 
their belongings. Before they had gone far with the 
loading, they found that the raft would not carry over 
one-half of the colony. So they took the old and the 
helpless and the children, and half of the most able- 
bodied, and proceeded to propel the raft to the land, 
while the others were picking up and putting in shape 
the remainder of the cargo and the stores. 

The occupants of the raft landed upon the island 
without difficulty. Apparently, so far as they could see, 
it was a complete and absolute desert. They had no 
ticed, before they left the ship, that the two young men, 
who had been hanging around the life-boat had dis 
appeared, and that the life-boat, as well as all the arms 
and munitions on the ship had disappeared with them. 
These men had rendered no assistance whatever in res 
cuing their fellow-beings from the wreck, and they had 
deserted the ship at the critical moment, with the only 
seaworthy craft that the colonists possessed. 

After the first raft cargo had been landed, a few 
of the men returned with the raft to the ship, loaded 
their implements and the remainder of the food and 
taking aboard the rest of the colony, returned to the 

For the next day or two, the shipwrecked colonists 
gave their attention to stripping the ship taking such 
parts as they could detach, to the island, and construct 
ing temporary shelter. After all that could be moved 
was taken to the camping place they had selected, three 
of the company were chosen to explore the island, 


while others were detailed to manufacture a temporary 
boat in order to see if there were eatable fish in the 
waters surrounding the island. 

Those who had been sent to explore the island soon 
returned with the report that they had found a body 
of very fertile land several miles in the interior of 
the island, that this land was about three thousand 
acres in extent ; that there was a large spring of water 
in the centre of it, and that it appeared to be the only 
cultivatable land upon the whole island. They reported 
further that the two young men, who had abandoned 
their fellows were there in possession of the fertile 
land, and that when the committee proposed to bring 
all the other people up to the spring of fresh water 
and the fertile land, the two young men replied that 
they, having discovered the oasis, were the lawful 
owners and they proposed to stand upon their right to 
retain it. When the committee insisted that the land 
should not be privately owned but should be the com 
mon property of all as man was a land animal and 
fertile soil was absolutely essential to his existence 
the two young men who had in their possession all of 
the arms on the ship, first argued that the committee 
must not undertake to discourage individual initiative 
that it would be ruinous to civilization not to en 
courage individual enterprise and that the land be 
longed to them by right of discovery. But, when the 
committee pressed the point and urged the rights of 
man, the two young men said : "We have all the arms 
and ammunition that are on this island, and if you 
undertake to force possession of this land, we shall fire 
upon you." 

After hearing the report of their Committee, the 
colonists held a meeting and decided that it would be 
a great mistake to discourage individual enterprise or 
in any way throttle individual ambition. They and 
their ancestors had always paid rent to a landlord ; they 
had been taught to believe that it was the rights of 
property that were sacred and not the rights of man, 


and so they resolved to move on to the three thousand 
fertile acres and pay rent for the use of them. So they 
gathered together the old and the helpless and the littk 
children and moved them first, and then they moved 
all of their belongings, including their supply of food 
and seed and implements, without any help whatever 
from the two young men who were busily guarding 
the results of their enterprise. 

The Colonists set to work at once to cultivate the 
land and put in a crop. The two young men married 
the two most likely young women on the island, and 
the two young women and their relatives esteemed it a 
great catch. 

After the first crop was harvested, the young men, 
by promising a little reduction in rent, put the whole 
laboring population at work building them a house that 
corresponded with the importance of their position. 
The workers hewed, with their rough tools, the coral 
rock out of the barren portions of the island and con 
structed a very splendid residence for the ruling classes. 
After the house was finished and the workers had 
manufactured as best they could, out of the wood ob 
tained from the ship, furniture with which to stock 
it, they began to construct hovels of stone and earth 
for themselves and their children, and their aged and 
their sick. 

So matters went on for several years, during which 
about two thousand acres of the fertile land were 
brought under cultivation. Meanwhile, the population 
had increased and their labor had made a beautiful 
park out of the remaining thousand acres which sur 
rounded the residence of their lords. They had also 
built a heavy wall around the thousand acres so as to 
protect the park from encroachment. 

The leaders of the colony still dreamed of resuming 
their journey to Australia, and in the little spare time 
they had between planting, harvesting and building, 
they explored the island. On the end farthest removed 
from the oasis, they found a deep and rugged ravine, 


containing some scrubby vegetation, and coming down 
from a considerable elevation that suggested volcanic 
origin. In the ravine they discovered gold in great 
quantities and immediately began to extract it from 
the soil. It was placer gold and came out in big and 
small nuggets. 

After gold was discovered, the oldest of the two 
colonists, who had appropriated all of the fertile land 
upon the island, took the title of Lord Gpldfield, and 
the whole population turned out for a holiday to cele 
brate the event. They attended services in their 
churches and were told by their spiritual advisers that 
it was a great providence of God s which had bestowed 
upon them so kind and beneficent a ruler as the lord 
of the province; that, in fact, their lord had received 
his title direct from God ; that it was of divine origin 
and was sent especially to them by the great Ruler of 
the universe because of his loving care. 

In addition to the gold, some of the colonists dis 
covered at the headwaters of the stream upon the 
banks of which the gold was found, a small band of 
wild goats. The goats were very thin and their hair 
was not of the finest quality; but immediately upon 
the discovery of the goats the lords of the palace had 
them removed to the one thousand acres which they 
had walled in as a park around their mansion, and 
great care was exercised in their breeding so that only 
the best qualities were reproduced. These efforts met 
with great success. The inferior goats were sterilized 
and only those allowed to reproduce who were of the 
very best quality. The animals became strong and 
large and covered with a wooly coat, and were thus 
suitable for beasts of burden, and to furnish wool for 
cloth, and milk for the children of the rich. 

As a result of this achievement, the other young man 
took a title the title of Lord Angora, in honor of the 
discovery of the goats. And again ceremonies were 
held and a holiday proclaimed and the population in 
structed in the divine origin of this title. 


But while birth control was exercised with regard 
to the goats, and great care taken to see that they were 
properly fed. the common people of the colony were 
taught that it was wicked to interfere with the proc 
esses of nature, and as the population had brought with 
them the usual diseases common to the sexes in Great 
Britain, there were increasing numbers constantly 
among the inhabitants of those who were diseased and 
of those who were mentally defective; in fact, a very 
large number of dependents had grown up and the 
slums had appeared, and as they took no care with 
regard to sanitary affairs, epidemic diseases the re 
sult of the poisoning of the population by their own 
filth spread among them and reduced the population 
from time to time. And the people were taught that 
this was a visitation by Providence to punish them for 
their failure to appreciate the glory and goodness of 
God; that they should read the Bible every day and 
observe Sunday and attend Church and above all, con 
tribute to the support of the Church and God s repre 
sentative the preacher, who had ordered a day of 
fasting and prayer to appease the anger of the Deity, 
And the preacher chanted "God is great and God is 
good; He provideth our daily food; by His hand we 
are all fed; give us now our daily bread." And the 
people cried "Halleluliah, Glory to God." But God s 
wrath was so great that He would not hear, and the 
epidemic ran its full course. The preacher then told 
the people that the only way to prevent future epi 
demics was to be more devout and that God, above all 
things, loved a cheerful giver. 

The rulers of the island had planned and directed 
the construction of large warehouses which were used 
to store the products of the land. Many colonists were 
improvident. They would sell off what they produced 
and use up the returns so that they would not have 
enough to last them until the next crop. As the popu 
lation grew and life became less bearable the number 
of the improvident increased. The two thousand 


acres under cultivation yielded three crops a year ; was 
intensely cultivated and produced an abundance of 
supplies. The ruling classes, who owned the gold 
mines as well as the fertile land, knowing that the 
value of money depended upon its quantity, decided 
that the nuggets of gold should have a value in propor 
tion to their weight or size, and, of course, they decreed 
that the unit should be pounds, shillings and pence. 
They also manipulated the money so that, when the 
crop was harvested, the money was very scarce and 
therefore, the prices were very low. They would buy 
the products of the land and store them in their ware 
houses and, when the next crop was fairly in the ground 
and improvident members of the community were en 
tirely out of food, they would make the volume of 
money exceedingly abundant, prices would rise and they 
could thus charge several times what they paid for 
the products of the laborer of the land. They soon 
found that this was unnecessary for, as they were the 
only owners of money and had the only warehouses 
that there were, they could arbitrarily fix the price 
and thus exploit the population to the full extent of 
their desire, through their trust control. 

But a new problem had arisen. Malthus s theory 
that population would outrun subsistence had come 
true. The two thousand acres would no longer pro 
duce food enough to supply the population and the 
serfs began to wonder how they would overcome the 
difficulty. They never thought of encroaching upon 
the park because that was private property belonging 
to God and the descendants of the two young men who 
had, by their private enterprise, discovered and taken 
possession of it; and the descendants of these young 
men never, for a moment, thought of plowing up the 
park, and they insisted that the miserable population 
would have enough if they would exercise frugality and 
industry and would educate themselves ; but they were 
ignorant and many of them were idle and of but little 


So a committee was appointed to explore the neigh 
boring seas with the hope of finding land. The ex 
pedition discovered some small islands, almost entirely 
barren. On one of them, however, they found a human 
being, clothed in palm leaves, who fled upon their ap 
proach; but they called to him and to their astonish 
ment and joy he responded in the English tongue. He 
had been upon the island for ten years, the only sur 
vivor of a shipwreck and had subsisted upon roots, 
scant vegetation, and the products of the sea, clothing 
himself with palm leaves. 

Of course he went home with the colonists and after 
he had fully recovered, began to preach the doctrine 
of Socialism. He said the rights of man were sacred 
and not the rights of property. He said that every 
man should have all that his labor produces that man 
was a land animal and that the land was essential to 
his very existence, and that no person should own more 
land than he could use and that, for the idle to demand 
rent for the use of the land the common inheritance 
of all was immoral and dishonest, and that they 
should immediately take possession of the thousand 
acres in the park and put those acres into crops. And 
many of the people endorsed his views. 

But the ruling classes were not idle. They had 
watched his movements ; they sent their paid retainers, 
their lawyers, among the people and argued that to 
take the park and not pay for it would be confiscation 
and robbery; that the present owner had inherited it 
from ancestors who had acquired it by thrift and in 
dustry and enterprise. That if the public appropriated 
it to the good of all it would destroy all incentive to 
individual enterprise and stop the wheels of progress 
and discourage ambition and return the world to bar 
barism ; and they also wanted to know if they proposecj 
to rob widows and orphans. 

The ruler had also organized a standing army of 
trained men under the plea that the colony might be 
invaded by savages from some unknown island in the 


sea, and that an army was needed for protection. The 
army was officered by men who had been brought up 
from childhood as trained soldiers and taught that they 
must obey their superior officers even unto shooting 
their own brothers and sisters, if commanded to do 
so by the officer over them. And, as the commander- 
in-chief of their standing army was by law the oldest 
son of the oldest of the two men who had discovered 
the fertile land, the army was ordered out, and they 
captured the socialist in the interest of law and order, 
and stood him up against the wall which surrounded the 
one thousand acres, and fired a volley into him and 
threw his body into the moat. 

Civil war at once commenced ; the population divided 
almost equally on the great question of the sacred 
rights of property, and they began killing each other 
until half of the people were disposed of. But as the 
trained men with their guns were on the side of the 
owner of the property, the people that remained alive 
stopped the unequal contest, and right and might pre 
vailed; law and order triumphed; the congestion was 
relieved ; the park was saved ; the people agreed to con 
tinue to pay rent, and Christian civilization pursued 
its peaceful and solemn course. 



1 have had a long experience with the public life of 
the United States; I have been repeatedly to Europe; 
I have studied the life of the East at first hand ; I have 
read economics, history, sociology; I have been busily 
engaged in the life of the world for more than half 
of a century. If long experience and investigation, 
coupled with study and discussion, fit a man to under 
stand what is going on about him, then I believe that 
I have the necessary qualifications for passing on the 
events that are now transpiring, and for predicting the 
trend of our economic and political life. 

There are certain things that I see very clearly ; and 
certain tendencies that are working toward their logi 
cal goals just as inexorably as the sun passes across 
the heavens. These tendencies in our public life are 
similar to, though not identical with, similar forces 
that have operated in other societies during historic 
times; and they bear a very close resemblance to the 
forces that are now at work in all of the great cap 
italist countries of the world. 

In the fight over the annexation of Hawaii, I pre 
dicted that the road which was then being followed by 
the United States would lead speedily to empire. Well, 
the empire is already here having arrived more speed 
ily than I, in my wildest imaginings, ever dreamed that 
it would arrive. 

At the time of the struggle over the Hawaiian 
Treaty, few people believed that the United States 
could ever be an imperial nation. They were skeptical, 
or else they scoffed openly. Even the representatives 
of the great interests had little idea of what was hap 
pening. They knew that they were serving the men 
who had retained them, but with the exception of a 
very few among them they saw no farther than the 
immediate present. They were lawyers not states 

As for the masses of the people, they were as ig- 


norant then as they are now. They were swayed by 
their emotions. "They responded to the "full dinner 
pail" appeal. They were the victims of an education 
that taught them to remember not to think ; and they 
were so busy remembering the glories of seventeenth 
century Revolutionary America that they had no en 
ergy or attention to devote to the problems of nine 
teenth century plutocratic and imperial America. Dur 
ing the campaign of 1900 I went before the farmers 
of South Dakota as a man who had served them for a 
decade in their fight against the exploiters. Mark 
Hanna, the direct representative of those exploiters, 
came out to Dakota with half a million dollars, and the 
half million carried more weight than my eleven years 
of service in the Senate. 

Such experience taught me that, all other things 
being equal, people will do what their immediate eco 
nomic advantage prompts them to do. Against the 
weight of this economic advantage, ideals and abstract 
ideas will not win with the average man or woman. 

Therefore, I reached a conclusion that I have since 
seen verified again and again that where the carcass 
is the vultures will be gathered together. So long as 
the privileged few hold the reins of economic power, 
and so long as they are willing to share up with the 
workers a portion even a small portion of the plunder 
they can hope to maintain their authority. 

So I realized that progress was to be made from the 
tyranny of the masters as well as from the spirit of 
revolt among the workers, and where the workers had 
been crushed and exploited for generations, as in Eng 
land, I realized that it would take a great deal of 
tyranny before the masses could be expected to revolt. 

Thus, the danger of the American farmers and wage- 
earners lay in their very prosperity and in the leniency 
of their masters. So long as the bread was abundant 
I did not see how it was possible for forward-looking 
people to expect any effective progress. 

Nevertheless, I expected the present century to yield 


a crop of revolutions, based on tyranny and starvation, 
and I predicted such a result in 1900. I made this 
prediction in reply to a letter from the Red Cross, in 
which the Director of the 20th Century Department 
asked me to tell what the world might expect in the 
new century. The Red Cross request was as follows : 


20th Century Department 

Walter L. Phillips 

General Secretary, Bridgeport, Conn. 
"Miss Clara Barton, President, 
Miss Ellen Spencer Mussey, 

Counsel and 3rd Vice-President, 
Washington, D. C. 

Frank D. Higbee, 
Director 20th Century Dept., 

New York 

New York, Nov. 21, 1900. 
"Hon. Richard F. Pettigrew, 

Sioux Fall, South Dakota. 

The Red Cross regards your position and 
standing to be such as to make your views on 
the progress and value of the 19th Century, in 
comparison with other centuries and your 
prophecies regarding the 20th Century of 
great value, and we respectfully request you 
to forward to us at your earliest convenience 
from 40 to 70 words in your own handwriting 
giving your thoughts in that connection. We 
shall read them at all of our meetings through 
out the United States, and afterwards allow 
the United States Government to take them 
and forever exhibit and preserve them in the 
Congressional Library at Washington. 


"An engraved invitation is being prepared, 
one of which will be mailed to you, but the 
time is short, and we take this method to ex 
pedite matters, and hope you will send in your 
"Greeting" before December 1st, if you can 
do so. 

"We prefer to have the Greeting in your 
own handwriting rather than typewritten be 
cause we wish to have each Greeting in auto 
graph form when turned over to the govern 
ment for preservation for all time. 

"Thanking you in advance, I am, 

"Very truly yours, 


Director 20th Century Watch Meetings. 

"Approved : 

"CLARA BARTON, President." 
To this letter I sent the following reply : 

"To the American National Red Cross : 

"During the century just closed, mankind 
has made marvelous progress in his control 
over the forces of Nature, and in the produc 
tion of things which contribute to his physical 

"The early years of the century marked 
the progress of the race towards individual 
freedom and permanent victory over the tyr 
anny of hereditary aristocracy, but the clos 
ing decades of the century have witnessed the 
surrender of all that was gained to the more 
heartless tyranny of accumulated wealth. 
Man s progress has therefore been material 
and not spiritual or ideal and the future alone 
can demonstrate whether any real progress 
has been made. 

"I believe the new century will open with 
many bloody revolutions as a result of the pro- 


test of the masses against the tyranny and op 
pression of the wealth of the world in the 
hands of a few, resulting in great progress to 
wards socialism and the more equal distribu 
tion of the products of human toil and, as a 
result, the moral and spitirual uplifting of the 

"Washington, D. C., 

Nov. 22, 1900." 

It was twenty years ago that I predicted "many 
bloody revolutions as a result of the protest of the 
masses against the tyranny and oppression of the 
world in the hands of the few." These revolutions 
have occurred the first in Russia 1905), and subse 
quently the revolutions in Russia, Hungary, Germany 
and other portions of Central Europe. 

Then, too, there has occurred the "great progress 
towards socialism and the more equal distribution of 
the products of human toil" that I predicted at the 
same time. The progress has been unequal. In the 
United States and in Japan, it has only just begun. 
All over Europe it has reached advanced stages, and 
the same forces of tyrannous capitalism and imperial 
ism that have been at work in Europe, making for 
these revolutions, and for this revision of the ways of 
handling economic life are now busy in the United 
States, where the ruling class is following the old 
course of empire, and where the workers are beginning 
to wake up to the fact that they must take charge of 
their own economic affairs or perish, as have their 
European comrades, in the inevitable struggle between 
contending empires. 

We have not yet witnessed "the moral and spiritual 
uplifting of the race," about which I wrote in 1900, 
but already there are intimations that progress is be 
ing made in that direction. A spirit has come out of 
Russia that has transformed the thinking of the world 
in three short years, and the end is not yet. This spirit 


is permeating the masses everywhere, and inspiring 
the most thoughtful among them with the ideas and 
ideals of a free economic society. 

The closing years of the Nineteenth Century saw 
the imperialists of the world at the zenith of their 
power. The World War marked the beginning of their 

Today I see the workers of the world coming into 
their own. Before this present generation passes, the 
workers in all of the important industrial countries of 
Europe will be the masters of the jobs on which they 
are dependent for a livelihood. 

The workers will gain this control only through the 
course of a struggle during which western civilization 
will either pass to a new level of industrial and social 
organization, or else it will destroy itself in the conflict. 
This is the supreme test of the effectiveness of the pres 
ent level of working-class intelligence. If the work 
ers have learned enough and can maintain sufficient 
solidarity to hold the machinery of economic life to 
gether, while the transition is being made, the next 
steps in material and in spiritual progress must come 
in quick succession. If, on the other hand, the workers 
fail to make the transition, there must ensue years or 
perhaps centuries of stagnation, like those which fol 
lowed the dissolution of the Roman Empire. 

Whatever the success of the workers, one thing is 
certain if those who do the world s work do not make 
this fight for the control of their jobs, the madcaps 
who are now directing the affairs of the great capitalist 
states will continue with their wars each more ter 
rible than the last one until there remain only the 
fragments of the present civilization, and then the 
dark ages that will follow, across the war-devastated 
earth, will be dark indeed. 

If through either struggle that of the workers to 
get and to hold control of their jobs, or that of the 
plutocracies for the right to exploit the garden spots 
of the earth the present civilization of the West is 


destroyed, then the ancient civilization of the East, 
based on the agricultural village, will again dominate 
the earth. 

The beginnings of these changes already are seen 
in Central Europe, where finances, transportation and 
manufacturing have been seriously deranged, or where 
their operation has been completely suspended, and 
where starvation and disease are consuming a popu 
lation for which the old order of society can afford no 

The war has been officially over for some time, yet, 
during the many months since there were open hos 
tilities on the main battle-fronts, the economic life of 
Central Europe has not recovered its normal tone. 
There were many who felt that no sooner was the 
armistice agreed to than there would be a resumption 
of the ordinary economic activities of the peoples of 
the warring countries. At least "by the first of the 
year," insisted the optimists, things would "pick up. ; 
The first of the year has come and has gone for the 
year of 1919, for 1920 and for 1921, and unless all 
accounts are at fault the starvation, disease, suffering 
and misery are more acute now than they were at the 
end of the war. Certainly the financial reports show 
that the economic portion of Austria, Poland, Hungary, 
Esthonia and probably of Germany is growing pro 
gressively worse. It is impossible to turn the ener 
gies of hundreds of millions from useful labor to de 
struction for five years without breaking down or wip 
ing out the old impulses and habits that lead to useful 
labor. War is more than hell. It is chaos, negation 
and denial of human civilization and progress. The 
worst that can be said about the present system is that 
it makes war inevitable. 

There is a crisis in the life of nearly four hundred 
millions who make up Europe. Many of the people 
are facing a situation that is desperate to a degree 
that cannot be appreciated by those who have not 
seen it. 


The people of the United States have a unique op 
portunity in this crisis. I do not speak of their op 
portunity to give food and clothing. By that means 
they may push off the anguish of Europe for a few 
months. I mean an opportunity to show how things 
should be arranged to guarantee the life, liberty and 
happiness of a people. 

The United States is isolated geographically. Hence 
it is in a better position to experiment and to work out 
its new ideas than is any other nation of the world. 

Again, nature has supplied the United States with 
an unexcelled store of all the resources necessary to 
the building and maintenance of a great civilization. 
Hence it follows that, unlike the peoples of overcrowded 
Europe, none of those who live in the United States 
need lack for food or clothing or shelter. The coal 
and iron, the cotton and the wheat, the corn and the 
cattle, the beneficial climate and the generous soil all 
are present in extraordinary abundance. 

Besides that, there are no near neighbors that are in 
a position to interfere with the internal affairs of the 
country. Once the American people have decided to 
reorganize their economic life on a basis of intelligence, 
there can be no effective check placed upon them from 
the outside. 

Finally, the past few years have given this country 
an immense surplus in machinery, in liquid capital, in 
goods of various kinds that represent a great lead 
over any would-be rival. 

Such are the advantages which the people of the 
United States now enjoy. There is one way and only 
one way in which they can make good and utilize them 
to the full. That is for the workers to take possession 
of their jobs, assume the direction of economic policy, 
and take the full product that they create. 

Under our form of government this can and should 
be accomplished, not by force but by political action. 
Those who do the work and produce all the wealth 
should combine and form a political party with a plat- 


form of eight words: "Every man is entitled to all 
he produces," with a slogan, "All power to the people 
who do the work and produce the wealth," and take 
possession of the government in all its branches, drive 
the lawyers out of office and repeal all laws granting 
privileges, and enact laws for the public ownership 
of all utilities of every kind that are now owned by 

By this means, and by this means only, can imperial 
ism be checked, the class struggle eliminated, and the 
life of the people be placed on a sound and rational 
basis. In this direction and in this direction only can 
they hope to attain the life, liberty and happiness of 
which our forefathers dreamed. 



Agriculture as a Basis for National Greatness 366 

America, Changes in 9 

Decay of Liberty in 9 

Distributing Wealth in 121 

American Conquest of the Philippines 332 

Control, Result of, in Porto Rico 359 

Federation of Labor, Character of Ill 

Federation of Labor, Relations with 109 

Government, Criticism of 174 

Government, Original Purpose of 370 

History, Economic Forces in 9 

History, Imperialism in 339 

Imperialism, Development of 348 

Imperialism in Central America 344 

Imperialism in Nicaragua 345 

Imperialism, Record of 339 

Influence on World Politics 335 

Labor, Position of 115 

People and the Senate 198 

People and the Trusts 67 

People, Ignorance of * 5 

Politics, Characterization of 272 

Politics, Standards of 276 

Public Life 5 

Public Life, Changes in 8 

Sovereignty in the Philippines 334 

Statesmen, Characterization of 272 

Americanization Campaign, Backers of 5 

Campaign for 5 

Anti-Imperialism League, Organization of 275, 326 

Anti-Imperialist Movement, Sources of Support 327 

Anti-Trust Law, Non-enforcement 76 

Laws 70 

Legislation, Fate of 250 

Arid Land, Irrigation of 25 

Armor Plate, Cost of Manufacture 374 

Profiteering on 375 

Trust \ ^376 

Army Ordnance Association 6 


Banker, Evolution of 30 

Bankers and Money Issue 38 

Relation of, to Hard Times 401 

Banking and Government Function 36 

Parasitic Nature of 32 

Power, Dangers of 34 

Private Monopoly of 32 

Profits of 31 

Public Control Desirable 32 

Supremacy and Imperialism 37 

True Nature of 30 

Benevolent Assimilation, Excuse for 349 

Bethlehem Steel, Profits of 383 

Big Business, Political Body Servants of 280 

Bill of Rights, Origin of 139 

Black Hills Reservation 13 

Bribery as a Business 163 

British Empire and the Opium Monopoly 208 

Effects on the People 367 

Imperialism in China 353 

Investments, Volume of 40 

Record in India 368 

Record in Ireland 368 

Business and Imperialism 311 

And Politics, an Instance 287 

Cycles, Form of 45 

Cycles, Uses of 45 

Empires, Development of 8 

Groups, Struggle to Control the Constitution 137 

Interests and the Hawaiian Revolution 314 

Interests and Lawyers 141 

Interests and Organized Labor 114 

Interests, Presidential Nomination by 405 

Men, Needs of and the Constitution 134 

Morality, Instance of 276 

Campaign Contributions, Instance of 296 

Contributions, Sources of 220 

Funds in Presidential Elections 257 

Funds, Methods of Raising 220 

Funds, Source of 256 

Capitalism and a Leisure Class 410 

Character of 407 

Control of Society by 411 

Exploitation Under 410 

Failure of, in Russia 389 

In the United States 44 

Typified by Profiteering 374 

Capitalist and Worker 246 


Carpet-bag Officials 150 

Central America and American Imperialism 344 

Central America, League of Nations in 346 

Central Bank in Japan 34 

Chaos, Threat of 428 

Chattel Slavery and Wage Slavery 409 

Cheap Money and Rising Prices 38 

Checks and Balances, and Democracy 138 

Checks and Balances, Purpose of 170 

Civil Liberty and the Constitution 138 

Class Rule in the United States 10 

Coal Mining Profits for 1917 384 

Colonial Treasury Notes, Effect of 50 

Combinations of Railroads 90 

Compensated Dollar Necessary 34 

Competition Abandoned by America 70 

Accepted 70 

And Tariff 66 

And Trusts 70 

Effects of 72 

In America 70 

In Sugar 72 

Concessions, Sale of in Congress 280 

Congress Attitude Toward Wealth Distribution 129 

Back of Land Frauds 283 

Dominated by Lawyers 141 

Protection of Trusts by 77 

Conquest of the Philippines 334 

Conservation and Prosperity 26 

Policy for 27 

Proposed Methods 23 

Constabulary, Work of, in Porto Rico 359 

Constitution, Adoption of, and Bill of Rights 166 

Amendments to 139 

And Human Liberty 134 

And the Business man 132 

And the Declaration of Independence 139 

And the Rights of Man 137 

As a Bulwark to Exploitation 140 

As Substitute for Revolution 171 

At the Mercy of the Courts 170 

First Amendment 166 

Opposition in, to Democracry 138 

Original Form of 138 

Origins 132 

Overturned by the Courts 186 

Constitutional Convention, Work of 164 

Contract Labor, Advantage of 51 

Co-operation, Necessity for 116 


Copper Profits, Amounts of 383 

Corporations, Exploitation Through 27 

Power of 60 

Corrupt Politics, Instances of 155 

Corruption in the Senate 207 

Remedy for 175 

Course of Empire and the United States 364 

Course of Empire, Beginnings in the United States 330 

Courts and Politics 172 

And the Railroads 90 

As Protectors of Profiteering 181 

Domination of, by Lawyers 143 

Place in Our Government 196 

Credit Mobilier 85 

Methods of 87 

Currency Issues, Profits Through 33 

Democracy and the Constitution 138 

Fear of, by Constitution Makers 164 

Demonetized Silver and Trusts 71 

Discriminations by Railroads 81 

Distribution of Wealth, Facts of Concealed 124 

Distribution of Wealth in America 121 

Du Pont Powder Company, Profits of 383 

Economic Breakdown in Capitalist Society 45 

Power in America 118 

System of Porto Rico 356 

Education of Lawyers 144 

Elcaney, Battle of 240 

Election of 1920 and the Vested Interests 404 

Significance of 401 

Empire, Course of, and the United States 364 

Enemy Countries, Position of 396 

Enlightened Self-Interest, Instance of 276 

Espionage Act, Decisions Under 182 

Indictment Under 377 

Evolution of a Banker 30 

Exploitation and Banking 36 

And Imperialism 352 

As a Means to Wealth 119 

Form of, in Porto Rico 356 

Through Banking 37 

Exploited Countries, Position of 396 

Express Companies, Regulation of 93 

Farm Tenancy, Development of 46 

And Industrial Depressions 46 

Federal Government and Property 77 


Federal Judges, Disqualifications of 188 

Training of 189 

Federal Legislation, Character of 109 

Federal Reserve Acts, Results of 35 

Federal Reserve System, Earnings of 36 

Fees, Effect of, on Lawyers 146 

Example of, in the Senate 147 

Financial Concentration 35 

Financial Imperialism and Hawaii 312 

Financial Power, Influence on Congress 52 

Financing of Railroads 84 

First Opium War, Cause of 353 

Floods, Control of 26 

Prevention of 25 

Forcible Annexation of the Philippines 331 

Foreign Capital in Hawaii 312 

Foreign Ownership of Railroads 96 

Forest Frauds 14 

Forest Policy, Results 13 

Forest Reservations 12 

Preservation 14 

Purpose 17 

Formosa, Control of, by Japan 362 

Frauds in Forest Legislation 15 

Free Speech Cases and the Supreme Court 183 

Convictions in 183 

Free Trade, Result of, in England 59 

Theory of 58 

Freight Rates, Discriminations in 82 

Gold Basis, Necessity for 39 

And English Policy 41 

And Exploitation 40 

And Imperialism 39 

Gold Production, Effect on Prices 48 

Gold Standard and Imperial Policy 44 

Rejection of , 49 

Success of, in Great Britain 43 

Government and Organized Labor 112 

By Lawyers H3J 

By Landlord and Manufacturers 134 

Decay of 8 

Desirable Forms of 174 

Dominated by Lawyers 141 

Ownership, Plans for 88 

Ownership, Proposal for 86 

Ownership of Railroads 92 

Government Bonds, Jobbing in 287 

Bond Sales, Scandal of 286 


Governmental Inefficiency, Remedies of 175 

Governments Represent the Standard of Peoples 335 

Greenbackism and Peter Cooper 38 

Harbor Development 26 

Hard Times, Beginnings of 401 

Hawaii and Business Interests 323 

Fight on Annexation of 323 

Foreign Capital in 312 

Franchise in 323 

New Government of 321 

Ownership of, by Americans 312 

Seizure of 318 

Hawaiian Revolution, Facts of 313 

Hawaiian Treaty, Ratification opposed 313 

Hayti, United States Domination of 347 

Hepburn Bill 235 

High Finance of Railroads 87 

Homestead Law and the Republican Party 252 

Debate on 253 

Imperial Policy, Meaning of, to Human Rights 330 

Imperialism and Big Business 311-324 

And Exploitation 352 

And World Peace 397 

As Manifest Destiny 372 

Beginning of, and Hawaii 323 

Development of, in the United States 348 

Effects of, in Ireland and India 368 

Essentials of 347 

Functions of 330 

Instances of, in American History 339 

Menace of, in the United States 325 

Practices of 350 

Price Paid for 369 

Struggle Against 132 

The End of Liberty 364 

Income Tax Decision as an Usurpation 177 

Independence Depends on the People 171 

Indian Lands, Exploitation of 288 

Indictment Under the Espionage Act 377 

IndustrialDepressions and Farm Tenancy 46 

Dates of 45 

Internal Improvements, Indifference to 26 

International Competition and World Peace 397 

Invisible Government 131 

Ireland as Example of Imperial Wrong-Doing 368 

Irrigation, Proposals for 24 

Opportunities 24 

Possibilities 25 


Japan, Banking Experiments in 33 

Japanese Imperialism, Instance of 362 

Judges, Character of 171-186 

Constitutional Removal of 191 

Training of 189 

Judicial Legislation, Resort to 179 

Judicial Power, Dangers of 175-186 

Limitations on 173 

Judical Usurpation, Income Tax Cases 177 

Instances of 176 

Remedies for 191 

Kettle Hill, Battle of 240 

Labor and the Government 112 

And Politics 112 

In America 101 

Cost of, and Hard Times 402 

Labor Legislation, Fate of 101 

Labor Movement and the Interests 114 

Rights of 115 

Standing in Congress 115 

Labor Unions and Socialism 110 

Standards of 245 

Land, Basic Nature of 28 

Land Frauds Backed in Congress 283 

Instance of 283 

How Perpetrated 21 

Land Grabbing 11 

Land Grant Railroads 85 

Financing of 261 

Graft of 14 

Origin of 261 

Property of 15 

Land Laws, Enactment 11 

Land Ownership, Exploitation Through 28 

Law, Deification of by Lawyers 143 

Lawyer-Government in the United States 143 

Lawyers and the Courts 143 

And the Public Policy ? 

As a Ruling Class 149 

As Guardians of Property 145 

As the Spokesmen of Plutocracy 141 

Control of Congress by 141 

Education of 144 

Functions of 141 

Proportion of, in Washington 141 

Qualification of 144 


League of Nations and International Capitalism 399 

A Holy Alliance 399 

And Russia 395 

Authors of 39 r 4 

A War League 394 

Character of 394 

Defects in 398 

Of Central America 344 

Purposes of 398 

Liberty and the People 171 

Decay of, in the United States 9 

Sacrificed to Imperialism 364 

Limitation of Powers by the Constitution 168 

Lobbying and the Vested Interests 280 

Lost Bill, Discovery of 107 

Machinery, Displacement of Labor by 126 

Mail Weighing and Fraud 80 

Manifest Destiny and Imperialism 372 

Masses as Guardians of Liberty 171 

Mexican War, Imperial Purpose of 339 

Militarism, Growth of, in the United States 365 

Money, Danger of Private Control 34 

Functions of 55 

Money Congresses, Proceedings of 41 

Money Contraction in 1893 47 

Money Issue by Private Agencies 38 

Money Monopoly, Advocacy of 51 

Results of 36 

Money Power, Control by 33 

Danger of 119 

Irresponsibility of 36 

National Bank Act, Defects of 33 

National Bank Charters, Renewal Opposed 34 

New York Bankers and Government Bond Sales 292 

Next War, Basis for 395 

Preparations for 7 

Nicaragua, American Imperialism in 345 

Nickel Industry, Failure of 60 

History of 61 

Oil Rates, Discriminations in 82 

Old Parties, Identity of Interest 250 

Oligarchy, Established by Courts 171 

Set Up in Hawaii 322 

Opium Monopoly, Position of 208 

Opium Traffic, Character of 353 

Organized Labor and the Government 112 


Owners and Workers 113 

Ownership of Railroad Securities 94 

Panama, Revolution in 341 

Seizure of 340 

Panic of 1920, Causes of 53 

Panics and Private Banking 35 

Panics in the U. S 45 

Paper Money, Privately Issued 51 

Party Machines, Character of 250 

Party Politics, Deceptions of 254 

Party Spoils and the Presidents 217 

Patriotism and Preparedness 6 

Peace and the League of Nations 394 

People as the Final Authority 171 

People, Rights Vested in 167 

Philippine Islands Torn from the Natives 332 

Philippines, Aggression in 330 

Results of American Occupation in 266 

Revolution in 331 

Plutocracy and the Constitution 140 

And Lawyers 141 

Defended in the Senate 208 

Growth of 311 

In the United States 118 

Meaning of 118 

Menace of 408 

Power of, in America 120 

Public Lackeys of 281 

Rise of, to Power 132 

Supremacy of 131 

Politicians As the Servants of Business 286 

Political Conventions, Character of 251 

In Washington 157 

Machinery of 219 

Political Developments of the Future 428 

Political Intrigue, Story of 158 

Political Log Rolling 259 

Political Machines 217 

Political Manipulation, Instances of 259 r 

Political Parties, Historic Purpose 250 

Similarity of 237, 250 

Political Servants of Big Business 280 

Political Standards in the United States 276 

Politics and the Courts 171 

Characterization of 272 

Corruption in 155 

Dependence of, on Contributions 327 

In the Territories 151 


Politics and the Courts in the United States 150 

Pools of Railroads 90 

Porto Rico, Economic Conditions in 359 

Economic System of 356 

Wealth Distribution in 360 

Post Office and the Railroads 79 

Post Office and Railroad Mail Pay 79 

Power, Concentration of, in the United States 371 

Precedent and the Control of Government 144 

Predatory Wealth, Weapons of 78 

Predatory Interests Represented by Lawyers 143 

Presidential Appointments, Abuse of 221 

Presidential Veto, Abuse of 221 

Presidents of the U. S., Character of 217 

Lawyers Among 142 

Nominations for 218 

Political Records of 224 

Renomination of 218 

Summary of Qualities of 249 

Price Control by Trusts 74 

Price Reduction, Methods of 402 

Panic of 1920 53 

Private Interest Versus Public Welfare 16 

Privilege in America 118 

Control of Government 133 

In the Senate 21 

Value of the Constitution to 140 

Profiteering, An Example of Capitalism 374 

And the Courts 181 

And Imperialism 355 

Instances of 383 

Senate Figures 384 

System of , 387 

Profiteers and Armor Plate 375 

And Imperial Policy 355 

Progressive Party, Organization of 237 

Progressive Party Program, Writing of 237 

Property Protected by Lawyers 145 

Protection of 77 

Property First and Lawyers 146 

Property Interests, Defenses of 130 

Protection of in the Senate 19 

Property Rights and the Constitution 135, 164 

Protection and the Republican Party 68 

Advantages of 60 

Protectionism, Meaning of 67 

Public Control of Banking 32 

Public Domain, Disposal 24 

Loss 24 


Public Domain, Suggested Uses 23 

Public Interest and Foreign Trade 181 

And the Law 181 

Public Lackeying as a Profession 281 

Public Land, Sovereignty in 27 

State Use Proposed 23 

Public Ownership of Railroads 78 

Public Ownership of Railroads Necessary 93 

Public Plunder and Congressional Backing 284 

Public Utilities Power Over the Senate 214 

Public Welfare and the Senate 68 

Senate Attitude on 22 

Quantitative Theory of Money 39 

Railroad Accidents, Reporting of 102 

Railroad Combinations 90 

Railroad Finance 261 

Railroad High Finance 87 

Railroad Ownership vs. Regulation 235 

Railroad Passes, Uses of, in Elections 306 

Railroad Rate Reductions, Possibility of 262 

Railroad Regulation, Attitude on 235 

Proposals for 92 

Railroad Securities, Fluctuations of 84 

Ownership of 94 

Railroads and the Courts 90 

And the Law 82 

And Safety Appliances 105 

Control of Government by 78 

Discriminations by 81-261 

Expropriation of 93 

Financing of 84" 

Foreign Ownership of 96 

Opposition to Labor Legislation 104 

Predatory Wealth 78 

Public Ownership Necessary 78 

Taxing Power of 91 

War Service of 97 

Watered Stocks of 84 

Railway Mail Pay, Corruption in 79 

Rate Regulation Proposed 92 

Rates, Discriminations by Railroads 81 

Republican Convention of 1920 403 

Republican Government Failure 8 

Republican Government, Travesty of, in Hawaii 322 

Republican Party and Protection 68 

And the Trusts 205 

Changes of Front of 251 


Republican Party, Principles of 63 

Program of 406 

Resource Conservation, Direction of 27 

Resources, Private Monopoly of 28 

Revolution as An Escape from Tyranny 140 

Preparations for, in Hawaii 316 

Right of 140 

Revolution in Panama Encouraged by the United States... 341 

Revolutionary Scrip and the Constitution 165 

Revolutions Predicted in 1900 425 

Rich, Position of, in America 118 

Rights of Man and the Constitution 135 

Right of Revolution 140 

Rising Prices and Cheap Money 38 

Rome, Greatness of, Described 366 

Ruling Class Sentiment, Development of 10 

Russia and the League of Nations 395 

Russian Bill of Rights, Character of 389 

Russian Constitution, Basic Idea of 389 

Russian Revolution, Significance of 389-393 

San Juan Hill, Battle of 239 

Santo Domingo, Control of, by the United States 346 

Science and Tariff Legislation 62 

Second Opium War, Causes of 354 

Secret Diplomacy in America 5 

Secret War Preparations 248 

Securities, Ownership and Distribution 94 

Self-Determination, Provisions for 392 

Senate, Able Men in 199 

Acceptance of Fees in 147 

And Labor Legislation 104 

And Land Grabs 20 

And Property Interests 19 

And Public Welfare 228 

And the American People 198 

And the Business Interests 198 

And the Water Power Bill 213 

And Trust Laws 65 

Atmosphere of 206 

Business Interests and 69 

Committee, Work in 205 

Composed of Lawyers 198 

Corruption in 29-6-307 

Decline in Importance of 210 

Loss of a Bill in 106 

Manipulations in 67 

Senate Record, Alterations of 209 

Senate Votes, Purchase of 208 


Senators and Private Interests 16 

And Privilege 21 

As Hired Attorneys 147 

As Servants of Privilege 198 

Characteristics of 201 

Corrupt Election of 297 

Mediocrity of 210 

Rank and File of 203 

Sherman Law 70 

Silver Coinage Feared by Monopolists 49 

Slavery, Conditions of, in Sulu 234 

Economic Failure of 50 

Socialism and the Labor Unions 110 

Solid South, Effect of, on Elections 247 

Soviet Constitution, Provisions of 390 

Spanish Treaty, Method of Passing 206 

And Political Manipulation 273 

Proposals on 274 

Special Privileges, Use of Tariff by 62 

Spoils System 221 

State Elections as Pawns in Politics 302 

Statesmen, Types of, in America 272 

Stock Dividends, Decision on 178 

Stream Flow, Regulation 25 

Strikes, Effects of 114 

Sugar Trust and the Tariff 76 

Activities of 75 

Existence of, Questioned 74 

Factors in 73 

History of 72 

Organization of 73 

Sulu, Treaty with 226 

Supply and Demand Applied to Money 38 

Supreme Court and Free Speech Cases 184 

Abolition Demanded 187 

And Other Government Departments 170 

And Public Interest 181 

And Tenth Amendment 177 

Dangers of Usurpation by 168 

Decision on Salary Income Tax 179 

Decision on Stock Dividends 178 

Emotionalism of 185 

Espionage Act Decisions 182 

Fallibility of 190 

Interprets the Constitution 169 

Jurisdiction of 193 

Power to Throw Out Laws . , . 169 

Steel Trust Decision 180 


Supreme Court Judges, Qualities of 190 

Call for Impeachment of . 133 

Surplus Wealth and Capitalism " 44 

Tariff 57 

Tariff and Competition 66 

Advantages of 57 

And Monopoly Power 57 

And the Sugar Trust 76 

And Trusts 64 

Behind the Trusts . . 284 

Effects of, on Hawaiian Sugar 315 

For Special Privilege 62 

Lines of Attack on 68 

Purposes of 57. 69 

Science of 62 

Tariff Commission, Necessity for 57 

Tariff Duties, Purposes of 20 i 

Tariff Legislation, Jugglery with 224 

Tenth Amendment and the Supreme Court 177 

Territorial Politics 151 

Third Party, Efforts to Organize 324 

Third Party Movement, Causes of Failure 328 

Trade, Logical Basis for 58 

Treaty with Sulu 226 

Trust Activities 121 

Trust Control of Prices 75 

Trusts and Demonetized Silver 71 

And Falling Prices 71 

Cost of, to the People 75 

Court Decisions and , 180 

Effects of 72 

Era of 70 

Lines of Attack on 68 

New Power of 8 

Object of 71 

Opposition to 70 

Political Control by 68 

Power of 83 

Present Status of 77 

Price Control by 74 

Protected by Congress 77 

Protection for 69 

Remedy for 65 

Tyranny, Bulwark Against 168 

And Revolution 140 

Unequal Wealth Distribution, Machinery and 127 

United States and the World War 377 

Banking Supremacy of 37 


United States, Concentration of Power in 371 

Control by the Plutocracy 48 

Growth of Plutocracy in 311 

Menace of Imperialism in 324 

World Position of 8 

United States Judges, Training of 189 

Unreasonableness as Interpreted by Courts 180 

Usurpation by Supreme Court 168 

Denied to English Courts 169 

Usurpation of Power, Danger of 167 

Vested Interests and the 1920 Election 404 

And the Constitution 135 

Defense of, by the Senate 206 

Representation of, in the Senate 262 

Service of Lawyers to 141 

Vote Buying in the Senate 208 

Wage Rates in Porto Rico 359 

Wage Slavery and Chattel Slavery 409 

War as Chaos 429 

And the League of Nations 394 

Financial Purposes of 386 

Object of 385 

Preparation for 7 

War Department, Propaganda of 6 

War Preparations, Secret, in 1917 248 

War Profiteers and Preparedness 6 

War Profits, Volume of 384 

Water Power, Seizure of 28 

Public Development of 25 

Water Storage 25 

Watered Stocks of Railroads 84 

Wealth, Concentration of 113 

Distribution of, in America 120 

Facts on Distribution of 121 

Methods of Securing 119 

Through Watered Stock 120 

Wealth Census, Efforts to Secure 124 

Wealth Concentration in Railroad Securities 96 

Wealth Distribution, Attitude of Congress towards 129 

Changes in 122 

Necessity for Information concerning 126 

Wealth Lords, Government by 134 

Worker and Capitalist 246 

Workers, Position of, in America 101 

World Peace and Competitive Imperialism 397 

World War, Economic Reasons for Entering 376 



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